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How to Winterize Cherry Trees

By Hollan Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cherry trees provide nice treats on a yearly basis. They offer lovely blooms in the spring or fall, and they offer sweet or tart cherries in the summer, if you have a fruit-bearing cherry tree. While cherry trees have different USDA zones, generally tart cherries grow in zones 4 through 9, while sweet cherries grow best in zones 5 through 9. Although they do need the cold period to go dormant some winter care for cherry trees is a good idea. Winterizing cherry trees will help them survive the colder months of the year.

Prune cherry trees in the late summer once the tree has borne all of its fruit. Remove all dead, diseased or damaged branches. Remove any crossing branches to increase sunlight and air circulation to the center of the tree. Brush all of the cuts with pruning sealant.

Water the cherry tree less once the weather begins to cool. In the fall and winter, water your cherry trees only about once every two to three weeks for ten minutes a watering.

Add manure or compost around the base of the cherry tree once the ground freezes. Do not allow the manure or compost to touch the trunk of the tree. Apply it in a circle about 6 feet in diameter around the tree and about 1 foot from the trunk.

Mulch over the compost or manure with straw or pine needles. Place a layer of mulch about 6 inches deep. Do not allow the mulch to come close to the trunk. Keep the mulch about 1 foot away from the trunk of the cherry tree.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning sealant
  • Compost or manure
  • Mulch


  • You may cover your cherry tree in blankets if the cold is causing frost damage to the tree's branches.


  • Do not water the cherry tree while the ground is frozen. No water will be able to seep into the ground and it will only freeze on top.

About the Author


Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer and contributing editor for many online publications. She has been writing professionally since 2008 and her interests are travel, gardening, sewing and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Johnson taught English in Japan. She has a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.