Q.pruning a sand cherry tree
My sand cherry is quite overgrown, unsightly, and unfortunately right next to our walkway. Will it be a mistake if I severely cut it back at this time of year? Will it revive for next year?
Thank you for your help
It will be quite stressful to do "rejuvenation pruning" at this time. For one thing, as hard as it might be to say this, some of us only have 2-3 months before first frost. By the time new growth forms, there isn't enough time for that tender growth to harden off well and it may die over winter. Clearly, pruning now also jeopardizes spring bloom which, I'm sure you know. Trim back enough to free the walkway now and over winter, or just after spring bloom, cut the rest back. If you are thinking you may move it to a spot with more room, do root pruning 6 months before the move. Many of the delicate feeder roots are the furthest from the plant and get severed in the moving process. Root pruning encourages formation of feeder roots closer to the trunk, easing transplant stress. Here is an article that discusses moving a large tree but the principles are the same for your sand cherry. Using a tarp for dragging the tree to its new location is very convenient. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/moving-mature-trees.htm