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does this dwarf cherry need pruning?

Posted by greenthumbNOTme 6A (My Page) on
Wed, May 1, 13 at 13:20

This is a three year old Starkrimson Sweet Cherry Dwarf "Sweetheart". It is about 8 feet tall. Does it need to be pruned some how to make it branch out lower? If so,how, when and where. Thank you for any advice.

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RE: does this dwarf cherry need pruning?

  • Posted by fruitnut z7b-8a,4500ft SW TX (My Page) on
    Wed, May 1, 13 at 13:58


For max branching down low, head it back next winter at about the height of that right shoot or somewhat lower. This will delay bearing some but given the extreme shape is probably best.

The alternative is to spread the tree. This will save that higher wood that might fruit next year. But will result in uprights off each shoot and a tree shape you might not like going forward.

RE: does this dwarf cherry need pruning?

MSU says the best time to prune cherries is right after harvest, in early-mid summer. It needs to stay dry, so if a stretch of dry weather is coming, prune at that time. MSU says in this area, (same as yours!) never to prune in the winter. Never after mid September!
See this page

Also see attached link for other articles.
It may be fine in the west, but here you must prune at the right time. Fruitnut's pruning advice is otherwise very good.
You can also prune in the spring. Again only under good weather conditions.
"Many fruit tress are pruned during winter, cherry trees are an exception because they are gravely vulnerable to silver leaf disease that attacks them in winter."
Read more at Buzzle:

Extensive pruning of trees on Gisela can be seen here:

I know you do not have this rootstock, but loads of pruning tips.

Here is a link that might be useful: MSU articles on cherries

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