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How to Trim a Weeping Cherry Tree

By Alexis Lawrence ; Updated September 21, 2017

The weeping cherry trees is a form of willow tree that grows into arching branches, which flower with white blooms. The tree grows to a height of 20 to 30 feet. While the weeping cherry tree can survive in cold temperatures, it grows better in warm climates and needs protection from winter frosts. To remain in the best condition, your weeping cherry requires occasional trimming.

Prune the weeping cherry tree in the late winter when the tree is dormant and new growth has not yet begun. Do not trim in the spring or summer, because you will destroy the entire year's growth, or in the fall when pruning the tree will leave it more susceptible to damage from early winter frosts.

Cut off any growth that forms straight up from the roots of the grafted weeping cherry tree and not off the main trunk of the tree. Branches that come up from grafted rootstock will never weep and will attempt to form a second main branch.

Avoid removing the upward branches on a non-grafted weeping cherry tree. These branches will eventually "weep" or turn downward.

Trim all branches back to the branch collar. The collar of a branch is the ring around the base of the branch near the trunk that is just slightly thicker than the rest branch. Do not remove the collar.

Trim back any branches that are touching the ground. Branches should be a minimum of 6 inches from the ground.

Remove any wood on the tree that is either dead or diseased. Cut branches that are rubbing against each other. These branches will cause openings in the bark of the tree, which increases the risk of infection.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw


  • While it is not necessary for the health or growth of your weeping cherry tree, you can also trim some of the foliage in the tree's crown to reduce the number of weeping limbs.

About the Author


Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.