Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Advice for pruning North Star cherry

Posted by hargle 5b/6a (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 11, 08 at 19:49

I just recieved a North Star cherry tree as a gift, and am about to put it in the ground. Thing is, I've read that cherry trees should be trained to have a handful of large, thick "scaffold" branches that are at a wide angle from the trunk, and this tree has a lot of long, thin branches, most of which are at fairly sharp angles. (As you can see below)

So, should I be thinning out/pruning back this tree? And maybe trying to train some of the branches to be at a wider angle? Of course, maybe I should leave it alone for now so it has plenty of energy to build its root system. I'd appreciate your advice.

Some other info, in case you want it: I live in Madison, Indiana, right on the border between zones 5b and 6a. I don't know what rootstock this tree is on, unfortunately.
The tree is B&B, and about 5 feet tall, 6 if you include the root ball.

"Front" view:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

"Side" view:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Closeup of branches:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

I can get more pictures if necessary. Thanks.

Leif


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Advice for pruning North Star cherry

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 11, 08 at 20:30

Maybe let it root out first and then prune next year, when you may also have a better idea of what to do. Top pruning at planting time reduces root growth.


 o
RE: Advice for pruning North Star cherry

Leif,
Too much top and a little root ball. There needs to be balance. Cut the main leader in half and also all the side limbs. It will grow much stronger if you do. Some shippers will have already done that.
Bberry


 o
RE: Advice for pruning North Star cherry

Wow, two contradictory answers so far.

Let me add my opinion as well....

I would only prune out any branches that are crossing and which would likely rub against another branch, thereby leading to the possibility of fungal or other disease. Next year I would consider making more pruning decisions with regard to the final shape of the tree.

btw, that's a pretty healthy looking Northstar. The one I planted 2 years ago was much smaller than that one.

~Chills


 o
RE: Advice for pruning North Star cherry

  • Posted by bboy z8 WA USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 12, 08 at 13:42

Growth of new roots prompted by opening of dormant buds at branch tips, which send hormones down to the root ends upon opening. Growth of new roots supported by nutrients stored over winter in branches. Reduction of top reduces potential for strong root growth - and vice versa. That is why roots of bonsai are pruned, to reduce the top growth. Cutting the top back or thinning it out substantially makes the plant grow less strongly, rather than more. The false impression that the top is growing more strongly is created by the fast-growing watersprout or whip-like shoots it throws up to quickly replace the growth it wishes you hadn't pruned away. Typically a few of these are produced where it has several shoots before, overall increase in size of plant body actually being less than if the top had not been pruned.


 o
RE: Advice for pruning North Star cherry

Thanks for your input, everyone. I think I'll go with a more moderate pruning scheme for now; that is, only removing the braches that are clearly problematic, and leaving any other pruning until the tree is more established. That seems like the safest route.

Once again, I really appreciate your help.

Leif


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Fruit & Orchards Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here