prunning flowering trees - Knowledgebase Question

FENTON, Mi
Question by sandybgarden
April 17, 2010
higuys..i need to no how to trim 2 of my new trees..i can't seem to get acurate info on my kwanza red cherry and canadian red cherry tree. they are both only 2 years old and i need to no how to trim them right..any help would be great...thanks sandy


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Answer from NGA
April 17, 2010

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The only concern about pruning cherry trees is that they are susceptible to black knot, a fungal disease so pruning when they are dormant is the best way to avoid having your trees develop this disease. If you prune in the winter, the pruning cuts will heal over before the fungal spores become airborne and they won't be able to infect your trees. Cherry trees should be pruned to a central leader.

A central leader tree is characterized by one main, upright trunk, referred to as the leader. Branching generally begins on the leader 24 to 36 inches above the soil surface to allow movement under the tree. The first year, 3 to 4 branches, collectively called a scaffold whorl, are selected. The selected scaffolds should be uniformly spaced around the trunk, not directly across from or above one another. Above the first scaffold whorl, leave an area of approximately 18 to 24 inches without any branches to allow light into the center of the tree. This light slot is followed with another whorl of scaffolds. Alternating scaffold whorls and light slots are maintained up the leader to the desired maximum tree height.

The shape of a properly trained central leader tree is like that of a Christmas tree. The lowest scaffold whorl branches will be the longest and the higher scaffold whorl branches will be progressively shorter to allow maximum light penetration into the entire tree.

Hope this information is clear enough to follow!

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