Cherry production

Hi Friends. As you’ve probably seen in several of my recent posts, I had my very first banner year with cherries this year (in spite of birds) and have enjoyed it immensely! However, my two Montmorency Cherry trees have gotten so large I was barely able to get them netted. So I really need to trim them back.

My question is one I should know since I’ve got trees and picked cherries, but I am still just not sure so I hope you all can help. Basically, my question is what year wood produces cherries? This is critical to me because I don’t want to cut off all the productive wood when I prune this year. I don’t want to have to wait 2 years to get more cherries.

My trees need trimmed all over, not just on tops. They already have fairly empty centers since I’ve always kept the centers and center top clear (even though I know open center isn’t necessarily a thing for cherries) But I really need to just cut all around the outside of the tree as well as the top. In fact, I’m planning to trim it much as you would a boxwood shrub - picture a round, ball shaped tree and taking pruning sheers and just making the whole ball smaller.

If I do this now, they will put out a few inches of new growth this year all the way around. Will that new growth set fruit buds and produce fruit in the spring? Or will only the old wood on the tree -meaning the inner part left when I prune?

I know some fruits produce on new wood, some on last years wood, and so on. I don’t know about cherries. If I cut my trees back all over so I can better net them will I get much fruit next year. I understand a smaller tree produces less than a larger tree, and I can accept that slight decline. But If I cut 12 -15 inches off all around the sphere of my tree, am cutting off all the wood that would be productive next year? Will the small amount of growth it puts back on later this year after pruning produce fruit? Or will I only get fruit from the wood I leave after pruning (that is year old wood now and will be 2 year old wood next spring.

sorry so long but i hope you all understand my question and my plans. Thanks

Hi Kevin,

The manual below is the best resource I read on cherries training and pruning. I think you will find most the answers that you want in it:

If it does not open with you, pm me your email and I will send it to you.


Ahmad, thanks are not enough. What you did right these is what makes this entire Growingfruit . org site such an incredible place! You should know that I had done a lot of google searches, watched a lot of videos, and even done a lot of reading right here on GF. org looking for cherry pruning info-all without much luck. Then you come along like a boss throwing out $100 bills! hahaha. Obviously I haven’t read the whole thing but I have read a lot and there is no doubt that this is going to be a huge help and answer most of not all my questions. So this isn’t the usual, customary thank-you reply…this is a sincere and real THANK-you for taking the time to read my question, reply, and provide a great resource. You are good people, Ahmad!


You are very welcome Kevin! It’s my pleasure… and actually gratitude is due to @scottfsmith for establishing this wonderful community, and for the many generous members who make it such a rich resource of information and favors among its members…