guidance please, Royal Anne

thomis(7)May 29, 2013

There is this Royall Anne cherry tree at my Granpa's place in central PA. The deer have gotten to it and reduced it to quite a mess. Most of my experience is with apple so I'm not real sure how to help it. I think it needs some pruning. At one time there were quite a few limbs and it had decent structure but now it looks much like this drawing. I took a pic but the flash overexposed and you can't see anything. Summer is the time for pruning stone fruits, correct? Should I head it back waist high and start over or prune the two upright limbs at about 5 feet and hope for the best? The crotch where the two upright limbs is about 3.5 feet high.

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I would cut the lateral branch to 5 feet, and next year before bud break, remove at least 1/3 of the buds on both branches. This will stimulate more lateral growth. Leave the outward facing buds, and removed buds facing inward, and in bad directions. I would not cut it down, as it may have few buds low at this age. Currently both branches are competing for central dominance. This is not good. Yes, do it now, or when a dry spell is expected. Do not prune if rain is predicted within 3 days, a week is better! You could also prune the central leader 5 inches to stimulate laterals. But if you do, you may have to use a new lateral as the central leader, which is fine anyway. Keep the central leader higher, and you may also want to spread crotch angle of right branch with a clothespin between central branch and righ branch, 60 to 45 degrees is what you want.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:29AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I won't leave that narrow crotch. Take off one side or the other.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 9:57AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"I won't leave that narrow crotch. Take off one side or the other."

You could do that, but I would cut back the central leader too to stimulate more laterals, You could then cut it down a lot to make tree smaller. Also though if right branch is flexible you can "fix" angle as I mentioned.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2013 at 10:20AM
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