Bare root trees are starting to leaf out - everywhere

My first time growing fruit trees and need to ask another very newbie question.

Some of my newly planted bare root trees are starting to leaf out nicely. However, I’m noticing that on some the leaves are growing well below the branch structure and down the trunk of the young trees.

Should these be removed now, left on, or let them grow a bit and then prune at the bud later on or what?

Thank you


It depends on the structure desired for the tree(s).On the one shown,those leaves at the bottom and going up about two feet are a long ways away from the upper scaffolds.They can be removed now.
Also,the starting height of the branches is fairly high.Is there a deer problem and that is to protect them?
Another way is to cut the trunk down to about two feet and let things grow out and then pick 3-4 branches

If they’re just leaves, I would leave them alone as they will provide photosynthesis, helping the tree and roots be healthier. But if branches start to grow down there I would cut them off.


I myself would not. I love when branches are that low. I don’t like my trees to ever get over 7 feet tall.To me the top branches look way too high to be scaffolds. I would cut the top completely off. Just below that last branch on the left. Or even lower than that.

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I agree with @Bradybb. How would you like to structure your trees? Cherry trees can be train in several styles. You should train them in a style/system you want.

What the rootstock this Lapin is on? Some cherry rootstocks can grow very tall if not prune. One of the issues cherry growers have is birds. Tall trees are harder to cover with nets.

Do you have deer pressure? If not, those starting branches are quite high.

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With deer here my trees don’t have any branches below 5 feet.

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I’m lucky I don’t have to deal with them. Yes so those top branches will be good then.
I do have one garden where deer are, but it is usually just a couple of deer and they don’t do much damage. Too many people around.

I appreciate the feedback.

This is Lapins cherry on Colt rootstock. No deer issues as this area is surrounded by a deer fence.

Is 24" too high to start the scaffold branches? There’s another picture below which better illustrates the height of the branches. When I planted the bare root tree I topped it to around 32" right above the set of branches and it will be trained to an open center.

If keeping the leaves there for now will help get the tree established than that sounds like a good idea.
Let me know if there are any disadvantages to leaving them this first year or two.

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