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Pruning a large cherry tree

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We have a huge cherry tree in our Edinburgh garden which blossoms beautifully and all the little fruits get eaten by birds or fall off before ripening . Can some kind person tell me if it would be worth hacking the tree back (its 20' high at present) to a size that can be netted to allow fruit to ripen? I like making jam so would use the crop if it was good.



You will need to prune your Cherry Tree during the summer months - June/July time, as this will cut down the risk of infection from the air borne fungal disease Silver Leaf. After pruning I would treat the pruned branches with a tree sealant such as Arbrex. With regard to pruning you will need to cut back some of the older wood to new shoots but still maintain the pyramid shape and, as the fruit appears on the previous seasons wood again some of the fruited wood will need to be cut back to new vigorous shoots. Cherries generally flower mid to late spring which makes the blossom vulnerable to late frost damage this may be what is causing your fruit to drop now you can protect your tree next year by covering in the evening with white fleece which is available from Garden Centres and DIY Stores.

17 Jul, 2008


Thanks Ken,
Very kind of you to explain. Is it really possible to cover a tree that may be 10' high and as broad (after heavy pruning) with a fleece. Its in our garden but some branches hang well over our neighbour's fence!

17 Jul, 2008


well its up to you if you wish to cover or not but I have one that is about that hight - it is not easy but I do cover it - just to keep the bloody birds of it - I try and discourage the birds when and were I can - I would cut back all the growth from your neighbour's fence - some people dont say anything but they dont like it growing into their space - and they are within their right to cut them back as long as they return cuttings to you - so I would do it my-self at leaset that way you know you are doing it correct.....

18 Jul, 2008

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