Eureka Victorian
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:20 am
Location: Eureka, ca

Weeping cherry

We are working on an old house with a weeping cherry that has been left for twenty years. I am looking for suggestions about pruning the 20 ft runners that have taken over the tree. The tree has taken off from the graft point, but I am unsure about cutting those large branches back.

Any experience in salvaging these old trees.

Senior Member
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:00 pm
Location: Chicago area

Hello Eureka Victorian. Ken here in the Chicago area. Welcome to the Forums.
Start by finding the oldest branches and cutting them all the way back. Only cut
1/3 of the branches this way. Next year do the same thing. You want to produce
new growth from the graft point. I hope this helps. Take care.

Full Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:36 pm
Location: McHenry

I might be more aggressive and remove all the 20 foot runners. Removing only 1/3 will be safer and will not sucker as much as if you take them all out, however, the 2/3 you leave will grow A LOT after you cut the other ones. Also this process will take a lot longer. I guess it depends on how much of the total tree these runners are. If you are only removing 20% of the total foliage you are probably OK taking them all out. If it's much more than that, I'd only take some out each year.

You may get a bunch of suckers for several years you will have to prune out, but your tree will look better quicker. The big thing is to only cut those runners if they are less then 1/3 the diameter of the branch/trunk they are attached to. If they are thicker than that, they may have to stay or be reduced until the trunk/branch they are attached to grows so they are only 1/3 as thick.

Senior Member
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:15 am
Location: Virginia, zone 7

Just make sure you prune the tree while it's dormant (I.e., when it has no leaves on it). Then it will be pretty forgiving.

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