Pruning a cherry tree: when and how? Our advices

Pruning is essential to promote the fruiting of the cherry tree, to give it a balanced shape and to eliminate unnecessary or dead branches. But beware, this fruit tree is extremely fragile and sensitive. We must therefore choose the appropriate period but also operate with discernment and method. Zoom on the size of the cherry tree.

Cherry pruning: recommended period

The best time to prune a cherry tree isautumn, and more precisely during the months of October and November because it is in descending sap. This means that the sap no longer circulates in its aerial parts. This is very important because pruning which occurs out of season causes injuries to the cherry tree and this results in the production of a thick gum on the branches and trunk. This is called the gummosis. The main causes of this are the accumulation of rainwater or irrigation water and freezing.

Late gardeners, however, have the option of carrying out this task during the winter but only in dry weather and on condition that you choose a period during which it does not freeze. This helps prevent the appearance of fungi and therefore fungal diseases or cryptogamic diseases.

When the weather conditions do not allow it, they will have to wait until March and not delay. The size of the cherry tree must absolutely intervene after the leaves fall and before the buds arrive. If these conditions are not respected and this fruit tree is pruned when the sap is rising, it flows in large quantities. It is then said that the cherry tree is bleeding. This is very serious since this phenomenon can lead to the death of the tree.

Pruning a cherry tree: how to do it?

This operation requires delicacy but also moderation because this fruit tree hates drastic pruning. This is also the case for all other stone fruit trees. If we take care not to prune it too severely, it can live for a good hundred years.

Three types of pruning are identified, namely, young cherry pruning or early pruning, maintenance pruning, and shortening pruning during fruiting.

The size of the young cherry tree

It is carried out at the first age, when the fruit tree is still only at a stage of formation since it is not even one year old. You just have to remove the excess stems. We select the shoots on the axis since these are the future branches that will give buds. In the cherry tree, the early age is very important because this is how we control the future shape of the tree and the volume it will occupy in its environment.

The maintenance pruning of the cherry tree

It consists of shortening branches that are too long by about thirty centimeters in order to form a crown, to give the tree a harmonious port and a perfectly balanced shape. It also allows:

  • Remove all dead or diseased branches.
  • Remove branches that tend to go towards the center of the tree and those that cross.
  • To ensure good ventilation and better sunlight for the center of the antlers, which also benefits from a beautiful light.
  • To promote fruiting and a good distribution of cherries on the tree.
  • To boost the renewal of short branches carrying flower buds.
  • To obtain larger fruits.

To do this, it is essential to carry out a clean and clean cut 1.5 cm just above a bud. But it is imperative bevel cut making sure that the lower part of the cup is opposite the bud. Thus, rainwater will flow to the back of the eye (bud) which will therefore not risk aborting.

The shortening size of the cherry tree

It only concerns oversized temples which give a lot of fruit under the weight of which they can break and those which remain unsuccessful and therefore became unnecessary.

The problem is that it takes place in season. Some gardeners perform this fruiting size, but it’s a huge risk for the cherry tree if several branches are cut because this results in the loss of a large quantity of sap. There is a risk not only of interfering with the quality of the cherries but also of considerably shortening the life of the fruit tree.

Whatever size is performed, as soon as it is finished, a healing putty on the notches orclay, a step not to be forgotten. However, it should be noted that the maintenance pruning is highly preferable to the size of fruiting because it is much less detrimental to the cherry tree. However, it should not be done every year, but only every 3 to 4 years. This is enough to keep the fruit tree healthy and avoid over-exhausting it. Finally, to avoid the risk of contaminating your orchard, all cutting tools must be disinfected before and after a pruning session.

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