Cherry Trees

Pruning a Cherry Tree

Anonymous added on November 28, 2010 | Answered

I just had a tree service give me an estimate on some tree work. He told me I need to top my cherry trees. They are tall and not thin, but not full. I get some blossoms, but no fruit. He wanted to take them down to 6-7 feet. Is this OK? And I also read you only do this in late summer, not winter. Is this true? I am in Seattle, WA. -

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on December 1, 2010

I personally do not think topping trees is such a great idea. It can cause some serious health and aesthetic issues for a tree down the road and it does not really keep them small. What they lose in the ability to grow UP, they gain in the ability to grow OUT.

If your tree is not full, I would instead do some judicious pruning of the leggier branches. This will help fill the tree out some.

And yes, I would wait until summer to do so. Pruning now can bring the tree out of dormancy, which means it will have a harder time surviving over the winter.

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