Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Once your shears are sterilized, dry them off with a clean towel. Prune the lower extremities of the cherry tree first. Once the tree is past the three-year mark, a different pruning strategy for dwarf cherry comes into play—that of pruning the top third of the tree to control height and encourage horizontal spreading of branches, keeping the tree's stature small. How to Prune a Cherry Tree 1. When cared for properly, dwarf cherry trees can provide you with an abundance of fruit, while giving your lawn or garden an extra source of beauty. Pruning Cherry Trees. Do not prune the cherry trees in the summer until the cherry tree has reached the size the ideal for you. Her work has been featured in commercials, regional magazines and business publications throughout North America. Make a 45-degree angle cut on the leader, leaving the tree 24-36 inches (61-92 cm.) Branches form a collar where they attach to the trunk. Tying branches in the perpendicular position may be necessary to achieve this style of growth. Always use caution when climbing a ladder outdoors. All Rights Reserved. Ideally, the branches of the cherry tree should be perpendicular to the main trunk. Dwarf cherry trees can be pruned much in the same way as their taller cousins. Cat McCabe has been a freelance writer, editor, director and actor since the early 1980s. Use a clean cloth to thoroughly wipe down the blades with the alcohol to prevent the spread of fungus and disease from one tree to another. Pruning of dead and damaged branches can be done at any time of year, as you see them. Cut away limbs from the top two-thirds of the dwarf cherry with long-handled pruning shears. In the subsequent year, begin creating a scaffold whorl, a set of 4 lateral branches extending out from the tree which provides a solid stricter. Normally, you prune fruit trees to form an open center or to form a cone shape. For proper pruning, you need special pruning shears and adequate dressing to seal the pruning wounds. 2. Cut the top one-third of the central leader (the tallest branch at the center of the tree) with long-handled pruning shears to control the height of the dwarf cherry tree and encourage lateral growth of the scaffold branches. Remove any suckers from around the base of the cherry tree. Ensure all four legs of the ladder are sitting of level ground. Clip away shoots and suckers from the bottom third of the trunk with short-handled pruning shears. Having a partner to help steady the ladder while you are pruning can be beneficial to your safety. Prune for maintenance after the third year. Although most stone fruit trees should be pruned in the winter, prune weeping cherries in the summer after they have flowered to avoid Silver Leaf disease. Dip your shears in the solution and rinse them off with hot water. Doing so can result in injury or possibly death. Clip off vertically growing shoots from the top two-thirds … Backyard growers often ignore pruning, not wanting to deprive the tree of some of its magic. Use garden loppers to cut back larger and/or higher limbs of the cherry tree. In order to keep your cherry tree looking its best, you will need to prune it. Pruning a dwarf cherry tree will require significantly less effort to accomplish than pruning a full-sized tree. For best results, only prune the cherry tree in the winter. Cherry trees offer beautiful plumes of cherry blossoms and when bearing fruit, the red cherries against the dark green foliage makes quiet a show. University of California Davis: Training and Pruning Fruit Trees, MAES Research: Training Dwarf Sweet Cherry, Utah State University: Pruning the Orchard, Michigan State University: Pruning Strategies for Dwarf Sweet Cherry. Ensure all four legs of the ladder are sitting of level ground. Keep these things in mind when you set out to prune your cherry trees: Have confidence in knowing that not everyone will prune the exact same way – including the experts. Avoid pruning in winter because it makes the tree vulnerable to disease from the constant moisture of rain, sleet and snow. A dwarf weeping cherry tree adds color and character to many landscapes. Like all fruit trees, the dwarf cherry must be pruned carefully during the first three years of life. Clip off vertically growing shoots from the top two-thirds of the scaffold branches in early spring and again in fall. Tying branches in the perpendicular position may be necessary to achieve this style of growth. Cut back each branch 3 to 4 inches, giving the tree an even, round shape. Use sharp pruning shears for the thinner branches. To keep your dwarf cherry tree healthy and always looking its best, you'll need to prune it correctly. For best results, only prune the cherry tree in the winter. Do not prune the cherry trees in the summer until the cherry tree has reached the size the ideal for you. Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. A cherry tree in flower dances its way across spring to come into fruit in early summer. Cut branches and limbs into manageable pieces and discard in yard waste bags. Use a stepladder to reach the center and upper portions of the cherry tree. With dwarf fruit trees, you need to take care not to let the branches get too long as they cannot hold the weight and will end up splitting. To remove them, try not to damage the roots of the cherry tree. Thinning out your tree this allows more sunlight through to the rest of the tree and this encourages healthy growth. Do not attempt to climb the tree to prune its branches--some branches may not be strong enough to support your weight. To remove a branch, cut it off at the outside edge of that collar. 1 Choose a dwarf or semi-dwarf cherry tree variety to espalier. tall. Pruning when the tree is young promotes a strong framework for the tree to withstand wind and weather and to produce fruit. To keep your dwarf cherry tree healthy and always looking its best, you'll need to prune it correctly. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from New York University and is currently a contributing writer for a national quarterly. Sterilize and sharpen your pruning shears. Pruning is a very important part of proper cherry tree care and maintenance; however, many people think the task overwhelming. Mentally divide the tree into thirds and work from the bottom up. Do not do major pruning of cherry trees in summer unless you want to seriously slow the growth of the tree. Full-size cherry trees can grow very large, with some varieties growing up to 40 feet tall. After fruit was thinned to 8 inches apart, this 5-year-old tree still produced 84 large apples. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. When you planted your weeping cherry tree, you most likely wanted a breathtaking tree to stand as the centerpiece of your landscape design. Using dirty, dull pruning shears to make cuts on a tree leaves it prone to disease. Clear all of the clippings from the ground below the cherry tree; leaving the clippings, can easily kill grass and any underlying plants. Use garden loppers to cut back larger and/or higher limbs of the cherry tree. Clean sharp pruning shears and garden loppers with rubbing alcohol before and after pruning each cherry tree. When cared for properly, dwarf cherry trees can provide you with an abundance of fruit, while giving your lawn or garden an extra source of beauty. Use garden loppers to cut back larger and/or higher limbs of the cherry tree. Use pruning shears to snip them completely away from the tree or snip them off level with the ground. Clear the cherry tree of any small plants that may be growing around its base. Always use caution when climbing a ladder outdoors. Prune the lower extremities of the cherry tree first. Prune dwarf cherry trees in early spring to promote strong branch growth during the growing season. Choose four sturdy, … After you've selected branches to prune, remove the entire branch. Prune the lower extremities of the cherry tree first. Prune branches that cross or rub each other and densely growing branches, leaving six ot seven laterally growing "scaffold" branches springing from a central leader. His content has been previously published on various websites. This will ensure that light and air can penetrate the canopy of the tree, resulting in more fruit and healthier foliage. Do not attempt to climb the tree to prune its branches--some branches may not be strong enough to support your weight. Doing so will promote fuller, thicker growth in the upcoming growing season. It doesn’t have to be! Prune for maintenance after the third year. However, the cherry is a fruit tree that is somewhat vulnerable, so it may... 3. Suckers are the small shoots that grow from the main trunk or the ground around the base of the cherry tree. Pruning cherry trees in the summer will inhibit their growth. Prune and trim cherry trees annually to keep them in peak health and form. Doing so can result in injury or possibly death. Prune the cherry trees in late winter while the tree is in dormancy. Ideally, the branches of the cherry tree should be perpendicular to the main trunk. How to prune an indoor cherry tree in a pot Prune your cherry tree by pruning away any diseased or deadwood. Therefore we suggest that you simply cut the invasive plants back. Having a partner to help steady the ladder while you are pruning can be beneficial to your safety. It is important to start pruning your cherry trees at the dwarf stage, as it will help prevent diseases, improve access to sunlight, and improve fruit production. These shoots and suckers will crowd the canopy and keep light and air from circulating freely. Remove these green shoots and that will help the cherry tree not have to compete for soil nutrients, so it will grow much more vigorously. These shoots will sap energy from the tree and will never produce fruit if you leave them alone, especially in the first three years of the tree's life. Most trees are pruned during the winter. Pruning cherry trees in the summer will inhibit their growth. Make a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Put on gloves to protect your hands.