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The Best Time to Trim Cherry Trees

By Shayne Ochoa ; Updated November 30, 2018
Trim cherry trees after havesting is complete.

Cherry trees produce best when trimmed or pruned to have a main branch in the center of the tree. The appropriate time to trim a cherry tree is immediately after harvesting is complete. Do not trim in the fall because the tree will sustain winter frost damage.


Offshoots from the main branch should be no lower than 2 feet from the ground and the limbs should be 8 inches apart. In order to achieve the preferred shape, trim and prune the tree when it is small. Use a sharp, clean blade or pruning sheer and cut the branch as close to the main stem as possible.


Watch the tree for signs of pests and disease. If the tree does become the victim of pests, use a horticultural insecticide and trim branches that are destroyed. Avoid distorting the shape of the tree when trimming off infected branches because this will affect fruit production.


One standard size cherry tree will produce approximately 50 quarts of cherries in one year. Wait until the cherries are fully red before plucking them from the tree. Soon after all the cherries have been harvested, trim the tree to the desirable size, water and fertilize as needed.


About the Author


Living in Southern California, Shayne Ochoa has been writing professionally since 2005. Her articles have included topics on education, child development and gardening. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from California Baptist University in Riverside.