How to Prune a Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry

Overview

Snow Fountains weeping cherry trees get their name because they have long, trailing branches that will swoop up and over until they reach the ground. Because of this tree's unique shape, you prune it slightly differently than you would if it were a more conventional cherry tree. Knowing how to prune a Snow Fountains weeping cherry before you get started will help you avoid injuring the tree during the process.

Pruning a Grafted Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry Tree

Step 1

Prune the tree in early spring or late fall. The tree should still be dormant when you are pruning. Make sure there are no open flowers or leaves.

Step 2

Find the graft. A cherry tree that has been grafted will have a knot anywhere from immediately beneath to 12 inches or so below the place where the branches crown.

Step 3

Trim the "weeping" branches so they are 6 inches off the ground. You can trim them higher if you want a more customized shape and design.

Step 4

Prune any branches that are growing straight up. In a grafted weeping cherry, these branches will not "fall" as they get longer, so it is best to remove them to help your tree keep its shape.

Step 5

Check for a "snarl" in the middle of the tree. These will be branches that are tangled together and may be dense enough to inhibit the passage of light and air through the tree.

Step 6

Thin out the snarl. Remove any branches that appear diseased or that are rubbing against each other. Once you are done, the snarl should admit light and air into the previously dense area.

Pruning an Ungrafted Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry Tree

Step 1

Trim the trailing branches so that they are at least 6 inches off the ground. This will give your tree a smoother, prettier shape.

Step 2

Trim off any diseased or rotten branches. Inspect the tree for problems, then remove any branches that have rotten spots, cankers or fungal infections. Remove any wood that is clearly dead.

Step 3

Smooth the tree's silhouette. Trim off any errant branches so the weeping cherry has a smooth, fluid shape. Do not trim the top branches, even if they are sticking up--they will eventually arch down with the rest of the branches.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Ladder

References

  • Orchard's Edge: Pruning Questions and Answers
  • Kemper Center for Home Gardening: Snow Fountains
  • Gardening Know How: Pruning a Weeping Cherry Tree
Keywords: Snow Fountains cherry, weeping cherry tree, prune weeping cherry

About this Author

Carole VanSickle has over five years experience working with scientists and creative scholars to promote and explain their work. She is based in Atlanta, Ga., and specializes in scientific, medical and technical writing, SEO and educational content.