The Q&A Archives: Pruning And No Blossoms.

Question: I have a Weeping Japanese Cherry tree, planted about three years ago. It does not get very many blossoms in the spring, why? And when is the best time to prune it? It is looking very unkept.

Answer: There are several possible reasons for reduced blooming on an ornamental cherry tree. One is winter cold hardiness in terms of the blossoms, another is that late spring frosts could destroy the flower buds. A sheltered location out of the wind would possibly help on both of those issues. Another reason could be age. In my experience these trees bloom more heavily as they become older and become established in their planting location over the years. Another reason would be pruning at the wrong time of year. You would do any pruning immediately after the bloom season to avoid sacrificing blooms. Pruning in early spring would remove flower buds, and pruning in mid to late summer or fall would remove bloomng wood. Your county extension might be able to help you determine if your cherry variety is usually expected to be hardy in your microclimate or not. They may also have some publications about pruning. Make sure you use instructions for ornamental trees rather than fruit orchard trees since the methods would be different.

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