When To Prune Cherry Trees?

26 Sep.,2022

The rule of thumb for pruning fruit trees is to do it when the trees are dormant in winter. However, reducing sweet cherries is an exception to this rule.


Cherry trees are a lovely addition to any garden, but you need to know how to prune a cherry tree to keep it healthy and in good shape.


With colourful autumn foliage, pretty spring flowers and delicious fruit, cherries have both ornamental and productive appeal in the garden. You can also find compact and dwarf cherry trees suitable for containers - perfect for kitchen garden ideas.


As well as those just grown for their beautiful blooms, there are sweet cherry varieties - producing delicious, plump cherries that can be eaten straight from the tree - and sour cherry trees whose fruit is better suited for cooking, baking or preserves.


Telescopic Tree Pruner

Telescopic Tree Pruner


When to prune cherry trees?

The rule of thumb for pruning fruit trees is to do it when the trees are dormant in winter. However, reducing sweet cherries is an exception to this rule. Sweet cherries are more susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases, especially on recently cut limbs, so it is best to prune them in late summer. Remember that summer pruning reduces the tree's energy to produce fruit and its growth, so using only thinning pruning should minimise this. A thinning cut is a cut that removes an entire branch, twig or limb to its point of origin and opens up the canopy nicely.


Dormant pruning is a more aggressive form of pruning. When most of the tree is removed during the dormant season, the tree's energy reserves remain intact. The timing of dormant pruning is crucial and should be started as late in the winter as possible to avoid damage to the tree. Once the risk of winter frost has passed, sore and weeping fruit trees can be pruned at this time.


How to prune a cherry tree - tips for beginners

The aim of pruning a cherry tree is to open up the centre of the tree, allowing sunlight and air to penetrate the branches and flow through .


The more sunlight the inner branches of the tree receive, the more it will flower and then the more fruit it will produce," she continues.

 Telescopic Pole Saw

Telescopic Pole Saw           

Pruning the cherry trees each year helps to maintain a healthy balance of older fruiting wood and younger branches, and makes the trees more compact and easier to pick fruit from.


Keeping the cherry trees airy also helps to protect the trees from disease.

Disinfect any tools with alcohol or diluted bleach before you start pruning to reduce the risk of infection.

To ensure you have the correct tools for pruning cherry trees you will need.

Pruning shears for pruning smaller branches.


Pruning saw for thicker branches.

Manual pruning shears or pruning shears for pruning very small branches.

The best candidates for spring or summer pruning include cherry trees, which can grow up to three storeys high if left unattended.


Pruning cherry trees in winter

If you live in a cold climate, pruning your cherry tree in late winter, when the tree is dormant and has no leaves or fruit, will promote faster growth.


It is also easier to see the structure of the tree in winter to help determine which branches to prune.

It is best to avoid pruning cherry trees in early winter, as the tree does not have the stored energy to heal the wounds caused by pruning.


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