How to Prune a Double Weeping Cherry

Overview

Showy, double blooms make the double weeping cherry tree a favorite with landscape architects and homeowners. Pruning double weeping cherry trees correctly ensures a long and healthy life for the tree. Pruning stimulates regrowth, creating a full, well-rounded spray of branches covered in white or pink flowers.

Step 1

Prune immediately after all stages of blooming are complete. Weeping cherry trees with semi-double to double blooms flower anywhere from late February to June. Ornamental trees such as the Double Weeping Higan Cherry (Prunus pendula 'Pendula Rosea') and the Avium Plena (Prunus avium 'Plena') have anywhere from 25 to 50 petals that open in stages.

Step 2

Place a tarpaulin underneath the work area. Begin thinning the crown, using pruning shears to first cut back any branches that touch the ground.

Step 3

Remove any upward growing branches that are crossing or rubbing with pruning or lopping shears. Be selective, as the upward growing branches are what give the crown its fullness and add to the weeping effect.

Step 4

Assess the tree's crown, which should be balanced around the tree. Trim any remaining growth that crowds or rubs the inner part of the crown.

Step 5

Gather the corners of the tarp and haul away the cuttings. Do not leave them on the ground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not simply cut off the entire ends of each branch at the same level--in essence, giving the tree a "haircut"--as new growth occurs at the ends of branches. Cutting back the tree in this manner will result in a bushy and unhealthy tree. Avoid the temptation to make the tree look "perfect;" rather, focus on the health of the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand shears
  • Pole pruner
  • Lopping shears
  • Pruning saw
  • Gloves
  • Tarp

References

  • Purdue University Extension: Planting and Transplanting Landscape Trees and Shrubs
  • Shutter Moments: Tree Guide To Japanese Flowering Cherry Trees
  • Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners: Pruning Weeping Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: Weeping Higan Cherry, Prunus pendula, pruning weeping trees, ornamental flowering tree

About this Author

Rochelle French has been a writer and editor since 1994, providing services for businesses, novelists, and publishers. Her articles can be found on eHow.com and GardenGuides.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from University of California, Davis and is a published author of six pseudonymous novels.