New Cherry Tree Pruning Advice Wanted

My new cherry tree has an obvious main leader, but also a much stronger sharpy angled limb growing close below. Should i Leave the weaker main leader or remove it and make this limb into the new leader, or remove the stronger limb? The main leader grows at a angled crotch, while the sharply angled secondary limb is attached more perpendicularly to the main leader. Unless recommended otherwise, i will wait until the tree is dormant to remove whichever is chosen, and pinch off new growth in the meantime.

Thanks in advance

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It depends on several things such as how big it will become ie what rootstock it is on; what final shape you want - spindle, open center, espallier etc; Personally I would whack the top third off both branches and bend them toward the horizontal in opposite directions with the degree depending on how limber they are. You could actually take about half off if the tree is a super dwarf. Make the cuts at buds positioned to grow out in the directions you want branching.

When you bend them down you can anticipate that other branches on the trunk will start to grow out giving you other scaffolds to work with. Also, expect vertical uprights to grow from the bent branches. These can be bent and pruned to further your shaping objectives.

It’s hard to tell where you are located but if you are in the northern hemisphere then you could do the pruning now.

Its a full size cherry that is part of a small backyard orchard area. I intend to keep pruned to low height of around 6’-8’ and use the super-slender-axe or tall-spindle-axe pruning system with one central leader.

My reasoning regarding waiting to prune was to allow that limbs energy back into the roots, but perhaps it doesn’t matter.

super-slender-axe or tall-spindle-axe pruning system

Ah, in that case do the opposite of what I said. Whack the smaller of the two branches off at its collar and point the other straight up. Tip it at about 2/3 desired height, now. The resulting growth should looks something like a Christmas tree. Keep in mind that you will need to be constantly on top of pruning, leaders will grow four feet and more in a season.

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