Pruning ornamental cherry tree

Asked March 26, 2020, 10:36 PM EDT

When DO and DON'T I best prune an 8+ year upright ornamental cherry tree (not weeping type)? It's over 15' in height and is growing too close to the house, and too tall. Someone recommended pruning after flowering. I read to prune certain cherries late summer when less chance of disease. Lastly, is it important to wipe down my cutting tools ...I didn't notice signs of disease before.

Kent County Michigan

1 Response

Thanks for your question. When to prune can be a rather confusing subject. Many trees and shrubs can be pruned at almost any time of year without significant harm but depending out your goals some times are better than others. Early season pruning can jump start the healing process, just post flowering will give you a good display this year and next. Dormant season is good for real heavy pruning. Late summer pruning can produce new tender growth that can suffer winter damage. it is advisable to clean tools between cuts to limit spreading disease. Check out the following links for more detailed information:
https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/HO/HO-4-W.pdf
https://extension2.missouri.edu/mg8
I hope this is helpful,