Forum home Fruit & veg

Pollarding and grafting cherries

I need to reduce the height of cherries with great heads but are 3m too high. Can I cut out out one metre and graft the head back on as with a weeping cherry? Or can I reduce the height drastically, eliminating the crown and graft new limbs on the stem?


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,145
    Any grafting experts around ?
  • pinutpinut Posts: 190
    I would say that it is perfectly possible but tricky if you have never done any grafting or pruned a tree before.

    It is much easier by selective pruning alone to achieve a short tree with weeping branches for easier picking of the fruit - the tree will look like a layered tutu skirt but you can change it.

    It will be a 2+ year project. You will need to be dilligent, decisive and ruthless in your actions so only start if you intend to finish.

    The steps I would take:

    1) Make a backup of the tree now by air-layering the main trunk just above the height you intend to shorten the tree down to. You can use this new tree as the donor for scions and/or buds later on;

    2) Use a combination of bark grafting, cordless drill grafting, bud grafting, bonsai wiring and selective pruning to achieve the weeping branches;

    3) Prioritise the lower branches first and build the tree upwards because once the canopy forms, the lower branches will not receive enough light to grow thick and strong;

    4) Prune off any new leader branches that spring up.

    I have rogue cherry tree that I may graft on Morello and sweet cherry scions just to document the process.

  • Thanks AnniD for support and Pinut for your informative advice. I am determined to try. The air layering is a great idea, Thanks again, not easy finding much info on this.
    Best regards,
Sign In or Register to comment.