How to Prune a Weeping Cherry

Overview

Weeping cherry trees are a beautiful and graceful element in any landscape. Their maintenance includes scheduled annual pruning to prevent disease and pests. Pruning your flowering cherry tree also controls growth and enhances the beauty and shape of the tree. Depending on the size of the tree, you may not need all the recommended tools. The most important thing about pruning a weeping cherry tree is knowing whether it is a grafted tree or a natural tree, as each requires a different approach. A good pruning regimen can keep your weeping cherry tree healthy for years to come.

Grafted Trees

Step 1

Begin by using hand shears to prune any limbs that reach the ground. Limbs should be at least 6 inches from the ground.

Step 2

Look for any branches that grow straight up. These come from the host tree and must be removed with hand shears as close to the source as possible to maintain the "weeping" appearance.

Step 3

Trim any branches that cross over one another or rub against each other. Trim away with hand shears any limbs that can't be easily disentangled from the crown.

Step 4

Remove any dead or damaged branches with hand shears for branches under 1-inch diameter. Use lopping shears or a pruning saw for larger diameter branches. Use a pole pruners for parts of the tree you cannot reach safely from the ground.

Step 5

Make clean cuts leaving no stub. Leave collars of branches in tact as a cut to close to the trunk can damage the tree.

Step 6

Remove any shoots that emerge from the ground or anywhere below the graft line. These will be shoots from the host tree and will not weep.

Natural Trees

Step 1

Use hand shears to prune any limbs that reach the ground. Limbs should be at least 6 inches from the ground.

Step 2

Trim any branches that cross over one another or rub against each other. Trim away with hand shears any limbs that can't be easily disentangled from the crown.

Step 3

Remove any dead or damaged branches with hand shears for branches under 1 inch diameter. Use lopping shears or pruning saw for larger diameter branches. Use the pole pruners for parts of the tree you cannot reach safely from the ground.

Step 4

Make clean cuts leaving no stub. Leave collars of branches in tact as a cut to close to the trunk can damage the tree.

Step 5

Leave branches that grow straight up as they will arch and weep with time. Assess the tree from a distance of 10 to 15 feet for overall shape.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use caution when using sharp tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Pole pruners
  • Pruning saw
  • Hand shears
  • Lopping shears

References

  • Gardening Know How: Weeping Cherry Pruning
  • BackyardGardener.com: Double Weeping Cherry
  • Kansas Stae University: Pruning Weeping Trees

Who Can Help

  • Aboutcherrytrees.com: Pruning Cherry Trees
Keywords: weeping, cherry, prune

About this Author

Theresa Leschmann has been a freelance writer for five years. She has written for local newspapers as well as websites such as Associated Content, Helium, Bukisa and Demand Studios. She also writes movies reviews for FIlmReview.com and writes a blog, Movie Muse. Leschmann brings her love of home and garden, traveling and movies to her writing.