If your backyard has an old cherry tree that has been neglected over the years, then it is important that you make some time and properly prune it. Pruning your cherry tree will improve its health, shape, and longevity. As an added bonus for your family, a well cared for cherry tree will produce a large crop of tasty cherries for your family.
Tip: Use Sanitized Tools When You do Your Pruning
Before you start pruning your cherry tree, first you need to sanitize your cutting tools. Use a solution of bleach and water to wipe down the blades. Once they have been wiped down, then dry them well. Sanitizing your pruning tools helps to prevent the spread of tree diseases between trees.
Tip: Always Prune Just Above an Outward Bud on Each Branch
When you start to prune the mature cherry tree, do not cut branches all the way down at the trunk or adjoining branch. Instead, you should always prune each branch just above where you see an outward-facing leaf bud. When you cut, always use a slanted cut rather than one that is straight across the branch. Cutting at a slant and near an outward facing bud will help prevent splitting of branches and promotes outward growth of future branches.
Tip: Avoid V-Shaped Branch Crotches Due to Splitting Dangers
Since your cherry tree's branches will be very heavy when they are loaded with fruit, you should always avoid trimming the tree in such a way that will allow v-shaped crotches to form in the tree. When you stand back and look at your cherry tree from a distance, it should have a single main trunk and should not split into two. If your tree has any v-shaped crotches, then they will cause branches to split off of the tree when they are heavy with cherries in the summer.
Tip: Consider Having Your Cherry Tree Professionally Pruned and Shaped
Finally, if you have never trimmed fruit trees in the past, then you should consider having a professional tree trimming company come out to your house and prune back the tree for the first year or two until the tree gets into better shape. The arborists who work on your tree will give you advice and pointers about exactly how and where you specific cherry tree should be cut in the future. This will allow you to do the future yearly pruning yourself if you choose to do so.
For more information, contact companies like ISA Texas Chapter.