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Limbing up

joe.shimminjoe.shimmin Posts: 207
I’m trying to get some of my young trees to grow more vertically than horizontally, so I’ve been pruning with the aim of lifting the crown. In the winter, I pruned off the very lowest branches and then took the next few branches back by two thirds. On some of the trees this is working well and there’s not much growth on those short, lower branches but on other trees there is plenty of new growth and I wonder if I should just prune those branches off now to stop the tree wasting energy on them as I’m only going to prune them off next winter anyway. 
Any advice?
Thanks, Joe

No idea why the pictures refuse to load vertically! Anyway, it’s working well here on this ornamental cherry.

Not working at all on this bird cherry. Lower, pruned branches have lots of new growth in them. Should I just prune them off now?


  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    If you crop the pics, they will load straight
  • Cambridgerose12Cambridgerose12 Posts: 1,044
    The best time to prune a cherry tree is when it is growing vigorously, anywhere between mid May to mid August. If the supplier of a new cherry tree has not recently pruned it they may instruct you to prune it immediately on planting, commonly November to mid March’. 

    Bird cherries (Prunus padus) are very suckering beasts anyway. 

    Note that when pruning to raise the crown, you want to prune back only just above the branch collar against the trunk. Don’t leave stubs as you have visible in the top picture. Disease gets in that way. @Fire, you interest me strangely with your remark about cropping. Only about half my pics load straight. I’ll try cropping them in future... thanks.
  • joe.shimminjoe.shimmin Posts: 207
    Thanks Cambridgerose. I’ll get the loppers out!
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