Ask a Question forum: Red cherry tree

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May 17, 2016 3:03 AM CST
We had our very large cherry tree pruned last year. This year we had a very dismal show of blossom. Also some of the branches have no leaves on at all. The ones which have have only opened half way. On the lower branches we have a lot of vertical branches growing very strong and fast. The tree looks awful. Is this normal the year after pruning?
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
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May 17, 2016 10:03 AM CST
It depends on how it was pruned and what time of year.

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Name: Deb
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May 17, 2016 10:58 AM CST
Welcome Ellamy! We hired a fellow I now refer to as El Chapo to prune this year, mainly because my husband is waiting for hip surgery and didn't want to climb around on ladders. We waited a bit too long (we normally prune in December/January) and had him out in early March I think. His method of pruning is MUCH different than mine. All shrubs and trees got flattops about as high as he could easily reach, with very little interior pruning. I tend to let plants grow how they would if left alone, and just clean up crossed branches, ones hanging in my eyes, etc. I had almost no lilacs this year, some of my shrubs are still recovering, and who knows how the fruit harvest will be. But, it needed to be done (we had lots of winter damage), the crew cleaned up after themselves very well, and I have faith that everything will look better next season.

Ellamy, give your tree a season to recover. Keep it well watered and let it rest. Sounds like you won't get much fruit this year, although I'm always amazed at how severely the commercial cherry farmers prune - some of their trees look like newly pruned rose bushes! Maybe that rejuvenates them or something (?) We have a Montmorency cherry tree that was severely damaged by heavy snow a couple winters ago (lost the main trunk) and it is gradually recovering and sending up new shoots from two side arms and is actually looking like a tree again. It was important to keep this guy alive as it is the pollinator for my sweet cherry. Time heals.

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