Cherry pruning: basic rules and processing features of different types

Any gardener who grows cherries on his plot should be able to prune the tree to provide him with the best conditions for development. For the successful completion of the procedure, you need to familiarize yourself with the basic rules, depending on the type of cherry and the desired result.

Reasons for pruning cherries

Cherry pruning plays an important role in maintaining the health of the tree, and also allows you to:

  • correctly form a crown, which contributes to better development, fruiting and good immunity;
  • increase productivity and rejuvenate the tree. Since the crown of cherry is closely related to the roots, an excessive number of branches overload the root system, and it cannot fully supply the tree with nutrients. Removing most of the non-viable shoots allows the cherry to direct energy to the formation of new branches and the formation of fruits;
  • prevent disease. A properly formed ungutted crown will be able to receive a sufficient amount of sunlight, which will positively affect the development of the plant, and good ventilation will serve as a preventive measure against various diseases, especially fungal diseases.

Many gardeners believe that it is not necessary to prune cherries, as this can provoke gum-bleeding. But such a situation can arise only when a large number of branches are immediately cut from the crown.

Cropping Rules

To properly trim, it’s important to choose the right time, know the technology for slicing, and use a sharp tool.

The timing

Trimming time depends on your goals:

  • the first forming pruning is carried out immediately after planting, for the 2nd – 4th year - from mid-March to early April, before the sap flow begins. The air temperature should not be lower than -5 ° C;
  • sanitary pruning is preferably carried out in the fall, from mid-September to early October, after stopping sap flow. The air temperature should be -5-8 ° C;
  • anti-aging pruning can be done in spring and autumn at the same time and at the same temperature as other types of pruning.

Slicing

When removing thick old shoots, a “per ring” cut is used. Take a closer look at the branch and you will notice ring-shaped flows at its base. Trim the branch on the top edge of the ring. Do not leave hemp and do not cut along with the ring - this threatens the appearance of a hollow, cracking of wood and decay of the bark.

It is necessary to carry out the cut correctly so as not to injure the tree

If you need to make a cut on the external kidney (for example, to avoid thickening of the crown and direct the branch out), then make an oblique cut (about 45 °) at a distance of 0.5 cm from the outward facing kidney.

With a correctly performed cut, it is on a par with the kidney

Instruments

To trim, you will need:

  • secateurs (it is convenient for them to cut thin branches);
  • delimbers (able to cope with branches up to 2.7 cm in diameter located in the depth of the crown);
  • garden saw, especially when conducting anti-aging pruning.

Do not forget to grease pruning places with garden varnish or oil-based varnish, as well as disinfect tools to avoid infection in the tree. To do this, they can be calcined on fire, wiped with a cloth moistened with alcohol or 5% solution of copper sulfate.

Formative pruning of various types of cherries

The measures for the formation of the crown may vary depending on the type of cherry, but the schemes themselves are universal and can be applied in any region.

Tree Cherry Pruning

Tree cherries are often found in garden areas. Popular varieties:

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  • Zhukovskaya
  • Turgenevka,
  • Nord Star
  • The bottle is pink.

Its main feature is fruiting on bouquet branches. They give a harvest for 5 years, but on condition that their length is not less than 30-50 cm.

All buds of cherry trees can sprout new shoots

Table: Crown Tree Shaping

Age of cherry, planting time1 year2 years3 years4 years
EventsOption 1 (annual seedling without branches): if you purchased a seedling without branches, then cut it to 80 cm, and next year, prune it using the algorithm described below.

Option 2 (annual sapling with branches):

  1. Form a stamb by removing all shoots within 30–40 cm from the soil level.
  2. From the shoots located above, leave 4–5 of the most viable, located on both sides of the tree at a distance of 10–15 cm from each other and extending from the trunk at an angle of 40 ° or more.
  3. Trim these shoots so that their length does not exceed 30 cm.
  4. Shorten the central conductor so that it rises 15–25 cm above the uppermost side branch.

Option 3 (two-year-old seedling): if you selected a two-year-old seedling with already formed skeletal branches, then conduct activities from the “2 years” column.

  1. Select 2–3 annual strong side shoots that meet all your requirements and cut them to 1/4. If the length of such shoots is less than 30 cm, then do not touch them. Remove the remaining annual side branches.
  2. Trim all shoots that grow inside the crown, and all growths on the stem.
  3. Shorten the skeletal shoots so that their length is 40 cm.
  4. Last year’s growth, cut to 30 cm.
  1. Select 2–3 annual strong side shoots that meet all the requirements, cut them to 1/4, remove the remaining annual side branches. If the length of the shoots left is less than 30 cm, then do not touch them.
  2. Trim all shoots that grow inside the crown and remove all growths on the stem.
  3. Cut the annual growth so that its length does not exceed 40 cm.
  4. Shorten skeletal branches to 60 cm.
As a rule, by this time the crown of cherry is fully formed and consists of a central shoot (optimal height - 2.5–3 m) and 8–10 skeletal branches. To limit cherry growth, cut the top 5 cm above the nearest skeletal branch. In the future, cherries require only sanitary and anti-aging trimmings.

After 4 years, cherries need sanitary and anti-aging trimmings

Bush cherry pruning

Bush-shaped (bush) cherries (Vladimirskaya, Bagryanaya) are also successfully grown by many gardeners. In contrast to tree-like varieties, bush-like forms fruits on annual branches. Another feature of such a cherry is the presence of a growth bud at the end of the branch, therefore, if there are no branches on it, it cannot be shortened, otherwise the shoot may dry out.

There is a growth bud at the end of a bushy cherry branch, so you can’t shorten the branches

Table: Bush crown formation

Age of cherry, planting time1 year2 years3 years4 years
EventsOption 1 (annual seedling without branches): if you purchased a seedling without branches, then wait until spring, and next year, prune it using the algorithm described below.

Option 2 (annual sapling with branches):

  1. Form a shtamb, cutting off all side shoots within 30 cm from the soil level.
  2. Cut the central shoot so that the seedling does not exceed 80 cm in length.
  3. Leave 5-7 of the most viable shoots located on different sides of the seedling at a distance of 8-10 cm from each other. The angle of attachment to the trunk is at least 40 °. Cut the remaining branches.

Option 3 (two-year-old seedling): if you planted a two-year-old seedling with already formed skeletal branches, then carry out the activities from the “2 years” column.

  1. Remove all growth on the stem.
  2. Choose 3-4 of the strongest side shoots that meet the same requirements. Remove the remaining side shoots.
  3. Cut all annual shoots growing inside the crown.
Follow the same steps as last year.As a rule, by this time the crown of the cherry should be finally formed and consist of a central shoot (optimal height - 2–2.5 m) and 12–15 skeletal branches. To limit cherry growth, cut the top 5 cm above the nearest skeletal branch. In the future, cherries require only sanitary and anti-aging trimmings.

When pruning bushy cherries, it must be remembered that branches cannot be shortened

Pruning Cherry Felt

The main difference between felt cherries is the pubescence of shoots and leaves, as well as short pedicels, thanks to which the flowers and fruits “stick to” the shoots.

Felt cherry berries are densely arranged on a branch.

Table: Crown Formation of Felt Cherry

Age of cherry, planting time1 year2 years3 years4 years
Events
  1. Select 3-4 of the strongest shoots growing from the head of the bush, and cut them at a height of 30-50 cm. Remove the remaining shoots growing from the same place.
  2. Trim all growth on selected shoots to 1/3 of the length.
  3. If there are branches on the cherry growing inside the crown, then remove them.
  1. Choose 3-5 of the strongest annual shoots growing from the head of the bush, remove the rest of the same shoots.
  2. On annual shoots, cut the growth by 1/3.
  3. Cut the biennial shoots by 1/4.
  4. On biennial shoots, cut the growth by 1/3.
  5. Remove all branches growing inside the crown.
  1. Choose 3-5 of the strongest annual shoots growing from the head of the bush, remove the rest of the same shoots.
  2. On annual shoots, cut the growth by 1/3.
  3. Cut the two-year shoots so that their length does not exceed 40 cm.
  4. Cut the three-year shoots so that their length does not exceed 60 cm.
  5. Remove all branches growing inside the crown.
As a rule, the bush has 10–12 skeletal branches and is formed. In the future, cherries require only sanitary and anti-aging trimmings, as well as maintaining a certain height (2–2.5 m).

To get a bush of felt cherry, you must annually leave the strongest shoots growing from the root head

Sanitary pruning

Sanitary pruning is usually carried out annually or once every 2 years.

Table: how to carry out sanitary pruning of various types of cherries

Kind of cherryTree-likeBushyFelt
Events
  • removal of branches thickening the crown (as a rule, such branches grow inward);
  • pruning shoots 1/7 of the length to stimulate the formation of new bouquet branches.
  • removal of branches growing inside the crown;
  • pruning two-year-old branches and older to the first lateral branch if necessary (the branch at the end is broken or excessively long).
  • removal of branches thickening the crown;
  • pruning of shoots by 1/3, if their length exceeds 60 cm.

After trimming, collect garbage and burn it.

Video: cherry pruning rules

Anti-aging pruning

Given that cherry trees live 12-15 years, the first rejuvenating pruning should be done when the plant reaches the age of 8 years. Another sign indicating the need for rejuvenation of tree cherries is a decrease in the length of the annual growth to 20 cm, and in the bush - exposure of the ends of the branches. Felt cherries do not have such signs, so focus on age and yield.

It is advisable to carry out anti-aging pruning not immediately completely, but within 2-3 years so that the cherry does not lose too many branches and does not gum.

Trimming Algorithm:

  1. Remove old, withered, twisted branches, including skeletal ones.
  2. Remove root shoots.
  3. On a tree cherry, cut the remaining skeletal branches to the first strong lateral branch out (count from the top), remove the extra branches (for example, in the center of the crown), and shorten the remaining branches to 40–45 cm on the upper kidney.
  4. On bush cherries, also cut the skeletal branches to the first strong lateral branch. Remove excess thickening growth. Do not forget that it is not recommended to shorten the shoots, so as not to reduce the yield and not harm the further growth of the shoot. If you really need to shorten any branch, then also cut it to the side branch.
  5. For felt cherries, it is recommended to remove the excess growth and cut the shoots 1/3 again to reach a length of 60 cm.

Trimming for translation (side branch) should be done outside the crown

Pruning cherries is not a difficult event and is beyond the power of any gardener. Follow all the recommendations and you will certainly provide your cherry with the best conditions for growth, and the tree will thank you with a quality harvest.

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