Husk24
Senior Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:00 pm
Location: United Kingdon, England, Yorkshire

Does my cherry tree need pruning .? Pics inside

Hi

New to gardening here. I have planted 2 year old fruit trees last year and want to learn more about pruning.

Here is my three year old cherry tree, please can someone tell me if it needs pruning and where from and also can i prune it now? England March time.

If Pic is showing sideways but after clicking on the image it will be straight.

Thanks in advance
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JONA
Mod
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Does my cherry tree need pruning .? Pics inside

Hi Husk
Two things I would do on your tree.
That strong main leader at the top I would cut off about a third of it. This would encourage a few more shoots develope at the top.
Now.....that large side branch on the left of the picture. This needs to be brought down to a flatter angle if you can.
However, I would not attempt to do this until the spring when you have a good sap flow. Also be very careful how you do it as they can suddenly break at the union point on the main trunk.
If it is left to its own devises it will rapidly become dominant on the tree. By getting down to a lower angle you slow its growth down and encourage it to make good fruit bud along its length.
It always pays to get those lower branches down to flatter angles early in their life to produce a more balanced tree and get better fruit bud initialisation.
Commercial growers would even get those higher shoots down too to get the tree to crop heavier.
If you do any cutting or tipping on that lower branch you will only encourage it to grow even stronger. So for this coming year anyway...leave it alone except for trying to get it down to a lower angle.
Good luck.
John

Husk24
Senior Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:00 pm
Location: United Kingdon, England, Yorkshire

Re: Does my cherry tree need pruning .? Pics inside

Hi John,

Really appreciate your response.

I need a few points clarifying being a complete newbie.

You mentioned the main header which I believe is the right side one, if i cut it down a third will that mean the branches attached to it at the top will have to go too?

The left side branch, u said bring it down to flatter level? What does that mean? I presume i need to cut it ifso how much?

I have another 5 fruit trees which would like to ask you, do you have an email address i could send you the pic pls?

Thks

JONA
Mod
Posts: 805
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:11 am
Location: Sussex. England

Re: Does my cherry tree need pruning .? Pics inside

Hi Husk.
Sorry.....I should have explained a little clearer on you tree.
First of all that leader.
When we talk of cutting a leader back we are referring to just the growth that has grown in the last year only.
If you look at the top of your tree you see two shortish shoots growing from the main trunk. Just below them is a stronger shoot that is growing upwards.
As this is stronger than the other two and the tree still needs to grow taller I would take this shoot as the leader. This shoot has grown from the main trunk of the tree over the last year.and this is the one that I would shorten by about 10 inches or so. This will encourage it to grow stronger and also it will produce two more shoots just below where you cut it for future use. When you cut it ...cut it just above a bud that is on the side of the shoot that is facing to the right in the picture. This will bring the leader back into line as it grows this year.
The two shorter shoots below this stronger leader can be left for two more years to grow and produce fruit....but probably after that time they will need removing or shortening back. For this year they are no problem.

Now getting shoots branches down to a flatter level.
Get some plastic bags. Fill with stones or soil. Place under the branch that needs lowering.
Tie a string to the branch....around three quarters of the way along the branch/shoot ,(with a knot that does not cut into the wood ). Tie the string to the bag pulling down the branch but taking care not to snap it. You can feel the give in the branch as you pull it down so be careful you do not overdo it and snap it.
There are many systems used in this tying system. Some use wooden stakes to tie too..some run a wire along and tie to that. In the garden I find bags the easiest as they can then be moved for mowing etc.
After a couple of months in the early summer you will find that the branches have set into this position and can be released....or if they wouldn't go low enough first time they may well go lower now.
Hope that helps.
John

Husk24
Senior Member
Posts: 101
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:00 pm
Location: United Kingdon, England, Yorkshire

Re: Does my cherry tree need pruning .? Pics inside

Hi John

Most appreciated. I am new to all this, I have bought books on pruning but when it comes to actually learning about my trees in garden, im all lost lol, so your advice is most appreciated. I have send you a test email. Names Asif , I am from West Yorkshire, bit colder than your neck of the woods!

Thanks

Asif

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