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 Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune? 
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:48 pm
Posts: 3
Post Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
This is a two year old Stella cherry tree. I bought it bare root and the first year it sprouted a very large leader (about 10 feet) and 5 side branches BUT the side branches are all at the top (at least 8 feet off the ground). I'm uncertain if I should top the leader, prune the branches - or what should be done to encourage branches to form lower to the ground. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm sorry - I seem to be unable to attach my picture so here is one posted on my blog. http://philipmarianne.blogspot.com/2012 ... prune.html Thank you.


Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:21 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
I would cut it at the top. I had a Gold Rush apple that was very skinny and tall like that. I chopped some of the top and two other tall branches and it is filling out better. I would prune the cherry when it's dry.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:27 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
John S - So you recommend topping the leader and perhaps also tipping the branches when it's dry. Do you think I need to start training the branches laterally? Thanks for your help.


Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:01 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
What I mean is to cut them proportionally, as a message to the tree to grow out more and up less. Yes cut when dry.
John S
PDX OR


Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:08 pm
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Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:01 pm
Posts: 19
Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
I would lop the top 2/3 of the tree right off at 3 or 4 feet high, and then watch as that tree bushes out big time the next season.


Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:23 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1151
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
dmtaylor wrote:
I would lop the top 2/3 of the tree right off at 3 or 4 feet high, and then watch as that tree bushes out big time the next season.

Agreed. Lop off the ‘trunk’ at the point you want your highest lateral branch to form; the other branches will pop out below. You will loose those pretty top branches though, and that’s a shame cuz it’s a healthy looking tree.

And – prune while it’s dormant (and preferably dry), not now. You’ll want the energy it sends and stores in the root system to push up and out into the ‘latent’ buds that will form it’s branches next Spring. The branches will be ‘one year behind,’ but the tree will have ‘dug in’ and is poised to ‘bush out big-time’ 8)

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Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:17 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:48 pm
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Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
Thank you for all your help. Should I also cut off all of the leaves on the trunk? Are they just suckers or does the tree need them to absorb sunlight? Thanks.


Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:22 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
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Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Stella Cherry - To Prune or not to prune?
Leave the trunk leaves; they collect energy and shade the bark. If one of those leaf bunches (or fruit spurs) were to ‘take off’ growing and begin competing with the limbs that will emerge after the heading, pinch it’s tip growth out (to slow it up) or snip it off at the trunk. But leave the little ones, they may even produce fruit :P

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Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:31 am
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