When Should You Trim A Weeping Cherry Tree

Growth and Environment

Weeping cherry trees are stunningly beautiful when in bloom and can make a statement in any landscape. To maintain the tree’s beauty, proper pruning is essential. Weeping cherry trees require very minimal pruning, and care should be taken to not prune away too much of the natural form of the tree. Pruning should take place during the winter months when the tree is slower growing and dormant.

The most important factor when deciding when to prune is the climate, more specifically the temperature. Since they are more cold-hardy than many other types of cherry trees, weeping cherries can tolerate cold winter weather better than heat. In warmer climates, pruning should be done no later than mid-February. In cooler climates pruning can be done earlier, generally in late December and early January.

The timing and positioning of the pruning will aid in keeping the natural form and balance of the tree. When a branch is cut, the nearest branch should be at least a foot away which will lesson the impact of the pruning and keep the overall shape of the tree. When pruning, aim to avoid cuts that will result in cyclic or continuous renewal of the same branch due to flower production.

Foliage and Bloom

The foliage on a weeping cherry tree can start to appear shortly after the flowers bloom. This is a sign that growth is beginning, which generally peaks during mid-June. The tree begins to slow down growth in mid-July and stops completely in late August. Pruning should be done before the buds on the tree swell and when the leaves are still green.

Weeping cherry trees are generally known for their gorgeous blooms during springtime. The height of bloom generally begins in late April and continues throughout May. To maintain the beauty of the blooms, pruning should take place in late winter – about four months prior to blooming season. This will also encourage a more vigorous bloom the following spring.

If the tree is heavily pruned during the spring season, it is possible that the flowers will be diminished. Ultimately, it’s a decision on whether you value the aesthetics of the foliage or the blooms. By pruning during the correct time of the year, you can enjoy the beauty of both the foliage and flowers.

Tree Shape and Size

Weeping cherry trees can reach heights of up to 25 feet, but can be pruned heavily to keep a smaller size. If desired, the tree can be pruned annually to control its growth and maintain size. But it’s best to not prune too much or too often. This type of cherry tree has a very distinctive shape and cutting away too much of it will severely disrupt its natural form.

If you want to prune back the size or shape of the tree for aesthetic reasons, it is best to do it in small increments. This way you’ll still get the desired effect, but you won’t disrupt the growth and health of the tree. It’s also important to note that reducing the size of the tree will reduce the number of blooms the next year, so keep that in consideration before pruning.

Tools and Safety

When pruning weeping cherry trees, the right tools are critical. Long-handled pruning shears are best for cutting branches up to an inch in diameter, while a pruning saw is best for larger ones. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from any flying debris and gloves for protection when holding the branches or tools. Additionally, keep herbicides or fertilizers away from the tree when pruning.

When pruning, it is essential to make clean diagonal cuts that extend outward from the branch collar. This will help the wounds heal quicker and help to prevent infection or disease. If a branch is thick or very long, it is best to saw through it in several cuts, to avoid damaging the area around the cut.


Weeping cherry trees can be a stunning addition to any landscape and light pruning can increase their beauty. To ensure success, prune during the winter months when the tree is dormant and take into consideration the foliage and bloom cycles. The right tools and safety gear should be used and cuts should be made to the branch collar.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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