Forcing low branches on new sweet Cherry?

lsohAugust 23, 2013

I grow plants in pots, so I want low branching.

I just bought a black gold Cherry tree. (Normally, I buy bare root via mail order in the spring, but happened to be in the neighborhood of a "real" nursery while traveling.)

The tree is about 2.5 feet tall. It has a dozen leaves, each directly off the trunk, distributed fairly evenly about the trunk. There is a small hard bud-like spike in the crotch between each leaf steam and trunk. Will these become branches? (There are no other branches on the tree.)

I am generally aware that If I cut a young tree off, it should force low branches (or kill the tree). A couple of years ago I held my breath and cut a young plum tree off at about 18" and it did indeed force low branching. But maybe the existing features are in fact the beginning of actual branches. If so, the tree is already looking like it would have well distributed low branches and I won't cut the tree off.

What do you think?


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franktank232(z5 WI)

I cut a sweet cherry (5 years old) off at ground level and it has since sprouted a bunch of new shoots out)....these would be the rootstock, which i believe is Gisela...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 11:51AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Head it back next spring. That will force more buds than any other time. If it has visible buds down low it should push several branches next spring. The number will depend on vigor of the tree. If you don't get enough next spring cut it off again the following spring. On a potted tree you don't need many. Should get those next year.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 12:26PM
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    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 6:29PM
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