Instructions for Pruning a Weeping Cherry Tree


Weeping cherry trees (Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula') feature cascading branches that develop light pink to white flowers in the spring. Their glossy green leaves turn bright yellow in autumn, adding additional visual interest. They grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 5a to 8b. Weeping cherry trees can reach 20 to 30 feet in height and spread 15 to 25 feet. Prune the trees annually in the spring when frost danger passes to maintain the weeping shape and keep the tree healthy.

Step 1

Inspect your weeping cherry tree for dead, diseased or damaged branches, which need to be removed to keep the cherry tree healthy. Diseased or damaged branches may bear scars, wounds, cankers or growths and will look different from healthy wood. Dead branches will not move in the wind.

Step 2

Remove dead, diseased and damaged branches by cutting them off at the base. In between each cut, clean your pruning tools by spraying them with a disinfectant spray so you won't spread disease to healthy limbs.

Step 3

Clip back the ends of long branches that trail along the ground or simply grow too long for your liking. Cut back to the desired height, snipping the branch at a 45-degree angle so water runs off it.

Step 4

Remove branches that rub up against other branches by clipping them back to a lateral branch or clipping them off at the base.

Step 5

Trim branches that do not fall into the weeping form, such as those that point up or out.

Step 6

Thin the tree to promote better air circulation, which helps keep it healthy. Master Gardeners with Johnson County Extension suggests spacing branches 2 inches apart near the top of the tree so that wind passes through the tree canopy and doesn't push the branches around.

Things You'll Need

  • Anvil pruners
  • Lopping shears
  • Disinfectant spray


  • University of Florida: Weeping Higan Cherry
  • Master Gardener Johnson County: Pruning Weeping Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: weeping cherry tree, weeping tree pruning, tree pruning tips

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.