Pruning cherry tree

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by noonataq, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. noonataq

    noonataq Member

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    It is October 10th. I have an overgrown cherry tree on the boulevard - central Vancouver Island. I would like to cut the longest branches back to about five feet from the trunk and leave the shorter branches untouched. Can I cut now (october) or must I wait for a specific time of year? We have not experienced frost yet.
     
  2. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    i'd wait for late winter/very early spring if i were you. sap is probably still flowing as the tree is not quite dormant this time of year. think about it; you make these big wounds on a tree while sap is still moving around and --GOOSH-- blood everywhere.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    The two most important points are:

    The tree may belong to a municipality or other legal entity that may have something to say about you attacking the tree without permission.

    This kind of treatment will in fact constitute an attack on the tree that will diminish its value.
     
  4. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    good point, ron b. i'd be really careful about that; check into it before pruning.
     
  5. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    I have been dealing in our Strata [condo] with cherry pruning and our landscaper has mainly trimmed off entire branches at the union with a larger one rather than cutting a substantial branch "back", and used that tactic with smaller branches too. However, at the same time he has experimented successfully so far with pollarding some cherries away down to short thick stubs of main structural branches about maybe 3 to 4 feet long in a vase shape, all the others removed... and trimming out or thinning the interior. These [Kanzan cherries] have all recovered and are now like newer, smaller trees with a thick growth he intends to prune regularly and thin out... no gross watersprouting has happened as may happen to trees heavily pruned but longer but shortened large branches left... I am guessing, merely guessing, in this audience of people much more knowledgable than I, that the long "watersprouting" branches occur off base branches when the base branch is not trimmed off at its collar union with another branch, but merely shortened... I don't know if there is any intermediate route.

    The pollarded cherries look a little odd, owing to the stoutness of the remaining branches which leafed-out...

    The cherries merely pruned with long unbalanced limbs removed at the base collar seem just fine and look like normal trees...
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Shortened lifespans resulting from excessive pruning not necessarily apparent in early stages. Apart from that, how normal or good specimens so handled look depends on who is doing the looking.
     
  7. leaf kotasek

    leaf kotasek Active Member

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    i've heard that pollarding often extends a tree's lifespan if done properly and if the species of tree can handle it. this from wikipedia: "pollard trees may attain a greater age than normal, because they are maintained in a partially juvenile state, and they do not have the weight and windage of the top part of the tree."

    personally, i'm no fan of heavy pruning. plant a tree that won't outgrow the spot and keep up with the maintainance. as a freelance gardener, i see a lot of trees that were pruned waaaaay too heavily at too old an age and have all this brittle, fast growth coming out their tops.

    heavily pruned trees always look grotesque, in my opinion.

    that being said, i don't mean to offend you, janetdoyle. i don't know your circumstances and you say that the tree looks fine, so who knows. =)
     
  8. janetdoyle

    janetdoyle Active Member 10 Years

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    It wasn't my first choice to pollard it, as we wanted the bloom but the trees were outgrowing their footprint on a Strata property...and we would have had to take a lot out if we started that. Plus replace them. I know all the arguments, but we have quite a few of them and I wanted to see if the landscaper was right... I won't know for several years for sure! No, they don't look natural, I agree.
     

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