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How to Prune a Kwanzan Cherry Tree

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Despite its name, the Kwanzan cherry tree is a fruitless species that lives for 15 to 25 years. It has a vase-like shape with a wide, rounded crown. The tree spreads out as it grows to a height of 30 to 40 feet. The Kwanzan cherry tree is showy, boasting pretty, double pink flowers that bloom in April. It prefers to grow in the full sun and in moist, well-drained soil. Leaves are bronze in color and turn yellow, copper or orange in the autumn. You can learn how to prune a Kwanzan cherry tree, which is improve for the shape and form of the tree, as well as ti encourage good health.

Lightly prune the Kwanzan cherry tree in the summer if you see small shoots growing along the tree trunk and base. Snip them off with pruning shears. Also cut off any shoots that are competing to become the central leader, or trunk. Keep the tree to one central leader.

Confine general pruning to the large branches that grow laterally. If they are out of scale with the rest of the cherry tree, cut them back so they only have two or three buds. This will help the lower stems develop.

Do extensive pruning during the dormant, winter season. This will stimulate growth on other branches. Climb the ladder to see inside the canopy of the Kwanzan cherry tree.

Prune branches that cross, rub against each other or grow inward. Use saw to cut them at their thick base, which is called the collar.

Remove damaged, broken and dead branches as soon as you find them. Make the cuts with a pruning saw, where the unwanted branches meet healthy wood. They are blocking air and sunlight from getting the other branches.


Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw


  • Always protect your hands by wearing gloves.


  • Do not remove more than one-third of the foliage and buds during one season.
  • Do not attempt to prune Kwanzan cherry trees that grow close to power lines. Call the utility company instead.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.