How to Prune Mature Cherry Trees


A cherry tree is a deciduous tree that produces a tart stone fruit. The tree blooms in early spring with showy pink, fragrant flowers. The fruit of the cherry develops in early summer and varies in color from bright red to a deep crimson. Cherries grow well in temperate climates and prefer full sun and well-drained soils. They are fairly easy to grow under the right conditions. Cherries are native to Europe but can be found all over the world. Follow some steps to prune your mature cherry trees.

Step 1

Prune your mature cherry trees in the spring just before new growth begins. Start by removing any dead or damaged limbs. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears. Remove all of the small limbs at the base of the tree.

Step 2

Trim the top of the mature cherry tree to make the tree manageable to spraying and maintenance.

Step 3

Thin out the limbs of the mature cherry tree so that it does not become overcrowded. Choose five or six main branches to remain growing. Leave 4 to 6 inches between the limbs to ensure proper light penetration in the cherry tree.

Step 4

Cut all branches at an angle to prevent water from standing in the cut and causing disease. Cut each branch at a 45-degree angle.

Step 5

Apply a layer of pruning paste on top of the cut that you have made in the branch. This will prevent injury to the tree by sealing up the cut.

Step 6

Thin out excessive growth in your mature cherry tree each spring to ensure proper light penetration and a high fruit yield.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning paste


  • Oregon State Extension: Pruning Cherry Trees
  • New Mexico State University: Pruning the Home Orchard
Keywords: pruning cherries, cherry trees, caring for cherry

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.