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Re: Cherry Tree ...pruning "sour Cherry Tree"

Re : Cherry Tree ...pruning "sour Cherry Tree" -- Des Baker
Posted by Newt , Jul 16,2005,10:31    Top of Thread   Forum

Hi Des,

From this site:

The sour cherry is squatter than the sweet cherry; both have a typical spread of about 30 ft., but the sour rarely grows taller than 25 ft. Deep green, long serrated leaves, with attractive rust-brown bark make the cherry a popular ornamental. Most varieties bloom late and ripen early.

Cherries are usually pruned to a "central leader"."

From this site:

"A sour cherry tree with no strong branches at the time of planting should be headed to about 24 inches above the ground. Selection of laterals can be made at the beginning of the second yearºs growth. If it has some good laterals when planted, remove those lower than 16 inches from the ground. Select about three permanent lateral or scaffold limbs along the leader, 4 to 6 inches apart and not directly over one another. Do not head them back, since this tends to stunt terminal growth.

In the following years, select side branches from the leader until there is a total of 5 or 6 scaffold limbs well distributed above the lowest branch along 3 or 4 feet of the main stem. The leader is then usually modified by cutting to an outward-growing lateral. After fruiting begins, pruning consists mainly of thinning out excessive and crowded growth each year to allow sunlight to filter through the tree."

I don't recommend shortening the height by topping, though a crown reduction might be able to be done. I would recommend a certified arborist who is familiar with fruit trees to do the initial pruning. If it's done wrong with a cherry, you could end up with a real mess and lots of sprouts and water shoots. This site might take a minute for the pictures to load.

More info with this first site the best I know to understand pruning:


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