Pruning a flowering cherry tree requires removing damaged, disease-ridden or dead shoots first to ensure proper growth, followed by trimming stagnant and weak areas of growth. Flowering and budding indicates that trees are generally in good health. They have the energy and nutrients they need to produce new life, and are carrying out vital life tasks. Pruning, however, can help even the strongest and fittest cherry trees improve their growth, but must be done carefully to avoiding causing trees harm and damage.
Before beginning the task of pruning, it is important to put safety first. Protective eyeglasses and gloves should be worn, and the pruning equipment should be sharp and free of rust. Then, it is time to turn attention to the tree. Cherry trees are classified as ornamental trees, which mean that aesthetics are important considerations in their maintenance. Owners should clip trees to enhance their natural features. Too much pruning may remove excessive amounts of flowers and buds, which can take awhile to regenerate, while too little pruning can cause trees to look unkempt. To begin, start with the stems. Cut just above healthy buds, approximately one-quarter of an inch above the bud. Large limbs should be cut approximately one foot from the trunk, followed by an overcut to prevent bark tearing. Cuts produced by pruning should not be bandaged as doing so may hinder tree growth.