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How/Where to trim a Cherry tree

Hi all, 
So a few years ago my parents bought be 2 cherry trees. They are now in the garden and growing well. However, they are long and spindly and have never been trimmed. Looked on youtube and i still have no idea. Dont get many flowers or much fruit. Please take a look at the images and let me know what i can cut. I was told to wait until Autumn to avoid blight but the poor thing looks like its budding again.

Anyone with the ability to mark the images showing where to cut would be great. They were bought for the birth of my kids so don't really want to kill them....(the trees thats is) ;-)


  • The main branches look quite a nice shape. In spring you could cut out thin branches that cross or rub, opening the centre up a little. Take any branches out back to the main trunk near the ground up to the first thick branch. Then cut to shape the tree to the height you want cutting back by up to a third, no more, of any branch. As it has not fruited much to date you won't loose too much fruit hopefully and it might regenerate it too. Now you could give it a mulch around the roots of compost/manure,  not touching the trunk, to help it along. Hope this helps @robert_s_myers
  • P.S. They do say a gentle trim in summer promotes fruit, but you need to shape first.😁
  • In addition to @purplerallim 's comprehensive advice, I'd just add that the time to prune cherries, plums and other stone fruit is around May/June when the sap is flowing ... this guards against Silver Leaf Disease which they can get if you prune in the autumn/winter.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Hi Robert, don't prune them now as you risk them getting sliverleaf disease.  The best time to prune cherry trees is in the summer months when they are in full leaf and growing strongly.  Sweet cherries are naturally untidy growers and pruning is mainly limited to removing any dead, diseased or crossing branches and keeping them within bounds.
    Many on here recommend this RHS book: "Growing Fruit" by Harry Baker which has pruning instrctions for most types of fruit tree.  Looking at yours, I would wait until flowering has finished, cut-out any crossing branches or those growing in undesirable directions and then trim about 1/3rd off the ends of the longer branches to encourage further branching which will increase the number of fruiting spurs.
    Something like this:

    Rub-off any buds and remove all growth from the bottom part of the trunk between the two vertical red lines.
    Sweet cherries don't lend themselves very well to any kind if training as they are so vigorous - keeping them tidy is about the best you can do.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,855
    here's me thinking folk would be...... trimming their christmas trees now.

    I'll get me coat.
  • Wish I was as tech savvy as you @BobTheGardener , that was just what I ment. 👍😁
  • 😂 @Hostafan1
  • BOOM, thats amazing. Thank you to all. I will decorate with fairy light and wait until summer. Thanks all. BTW Bob the Gardner, how long do i leave the little bits of red tape on the branches? ;-)
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