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How to Prune a Dwarf Weeping Cherry Tree

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How to Prune a Dwarf Weeping Cherry Tree

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Overview

A dwarf weeping cherry tree adds color and character to many landscapes. Prune and trim cherry trees annually to keep them in peak health and form. Although most stone fruit trees should be pruned in the winter, prune weeping cherries in the summer after they have flowered to avoid Silver Leaf disease. By reducing the dead wood and excess branch load on the tree, you ensure that more of the tree's resources go to flowering and trunk growth, thus encouraging more flowers and a healthier tree.

Step 1

Prune dead wood from the tree at any time of the year. Dead wood uses nutrients and water that are better put to use creating flowers or new growth. Use pruning shears for dead wood about a finger's width in thickness. For larger branches, use a pruning saw. Cut 2/3 of the way through the branch from the bottom and then complete the cut from the top to prevent splitting and splintering.

Step 2

Remove any branches that cross each other. Use pruning shears for branches about a finger's width thick. Use a pruning saw for thicker, heavier branches. When using a saw on heavier branches, cut about 2/3 of the way through the branch from the bottom and complete the cut to prevent splitting and tearing.

Step 3

Thin a few of the thinner and weaker upper branches with pruning shears to allow sun to reach the inner areas of the tree.

Step 4

Trim the branches that touch the ground with pruning shears. Although you can prune the weeping branches to any distance from the ground, pruning the branches to around 1/3 of the tree's height often creates a visually well-balanced tree. For example, if you have a 6-foot tree, prune the weeping branches to about 2 feet above the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw

References

  • Clemson University Extension: Ornamental Cherry, Plum, Apricot & Almond
  • BBC Home: Ask the gardener: Cherry trees
  • Sculptural Plants
Keywords: weeping cherry, tree pruning, cherry tree

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.