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Summer Pruning Tips for Cherry & Apricot Trees

08 MAY 2021

Summer Pruning Tips for Cherry & Apricot Trees

Pruning trees is like a healthier version of giving them a haircut. In addition to enhancing their appearance, a proper pruning helps remove and prevent disease. But before you haphazardly cut branches, be sure to read up on proper pruning etiquette. For the most part, tree pruning is best done during the dormant seasons. However, there are some exceptions. Cherry and apricot trees, for example, can be pruned during the summer. Sesmas Tree Service has plenty of experience in this field and we are happy to share our knowledge as well as our services with our community. Here are some summer pruning tips for cherry and apricot trees. If you have any questions, then give us a call for a consultation or hire an arborist.

Choose Four Permanent Scaffold Branches

Apricots and cherries preferred to be pruned in mid to late summer. They also like to be trained into a modified central leader system. Between June and July is a great time to get started on training your tree. Start by selecting your four permanent scaffold branches.

The first branch should be about 18 to 24 inches from the ground. Choose branches that come off the trunk at a 45 to 60 degree angle. Branches coming off an angle less than 45 degrees are often weak. Each of the four scaffolding branches should be on a different quadrant on the tree. Ideally, the branches should not be on top of each other and should have eight to ten inches between them vertically. You do not have to find all the scaffolding branches in the same season.

If you find a well-spaced branch that is less than 45 degrees, then try using a spreader. Place the spreader between the branch and the trunk to stretch the branch out to between 45 and 60 degrees. Label your scaffolding branches.

Prune Back the Non-Scaffolding Branches

Now, get started on pruning back the non-scaffolding branches to about 6 inches or to the first set of leaves. The short remainders of the branches will be removed later, but for now they help shade the trunk and prevent sunscald. Next, prune any competing leader shoots. Pick the strongest upright shoot to be the central leader and cut off any of the rest. The central leader should be pruned about 20 inches from the top most scaffolding branch. This will stimulate growth for more scaffolding branches. You ideally want five to seven total scaffolding branches before scaling back the central leader to the top most scaffolding branch.

Hire An ISA-Certified Arborist

Your cherry and apricot trees are wonderful ornaments for your yard. They provide shade, aesthetics, and delicious fruit! If you are hesitant or worried about ruining your tree, then consider hiring an ISA-certified arborist. Our arborists at Sesmas Tree Service have years of experience pruning all sorts of fruit trees. We can have someone out to your property to get the job done right the first time around. Call Sesmas Tree Service to consult with a friendly representative today.