Kwanzan cherry trees provide a springtime display of pink blossoms; they are one of the varieties of ornamental cherry used in the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. These extremely showy trees are quite delicate and can be injured by excess pruning. Gardeners should prune Kwanzan cherry trees in later spring once the trees have flowered. Cosmetic and shaping cuts are not necessary. Prune only to remove dead and damaged wood or wood that may damage the tree if left on.
Check the branches of your Kwanzan cherry tree for dead, diseased or damaged growth. Diseased or damaged limbs will be spotted, wounded, scarred or discolored and are easily identifiable as different from healthy wood. Dead wood does not move in the wind and feels brittle.
Prepare a sanitizing solution by mixing one part bleach and 10 parts water in a bucket. Place your pruning tools in the bucket.
Clip off dead, diseased and damaged wood at its base with your pruning tools. If only the tip is damaged, you can prune back to a healthy Y-intersection. In between each cut, immerse your tools in the sanitizing solution to avoid accidentally spreading disease to healthy parts of the Kwanzan cherry.
Once you've removed all dead and unhealthy wood you can dispose of the sanitizing solution.
Clip off branches that rub against other branches, since their touching will lead to limb damage later on.
Remove low-growing or downward-growing branches that impede movement under your Kwanzan cherry tree by cutting them off at the base.