The Q&A Archives: Thundercloud trees

Question: I have a rather large red thundercloud that I would like to prune way back including removing some of the larger limbs. Can this be done during the winter months of November and December?
Thank you.

Answer: The time of pruning should take into account the life cycle of insects and diseases. Plants in the genus Prunus (flowering cherry, flowering plum) are prone to develop bacterial cankers. The spores for the diseases, which are released in fall and early winter, can enter plants through fresh pruning cuts and wounds. Prunus trees do not initiate new cankers during late spring or summer so these are the optimal months to prune your Thundercloud.

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