Cherry – Badly Pruned

Q: This was a healthy tree about 15 to 20 feet tall, the diameter of the trunk was 18 inches. My Homeowners’ Association landscape maintenance sub-committee requested that this tree be pruned so the people that cut the grass came out and pruned it. Now is only 36″ tall with no limbs.

Was it pruned back correctly? What will this tree look like when it starts growing again in the spring?

A: Yikes! Someone went crazy with a chainsaw!

Bottom line: no…it was not pruned correctly.

A tree that big cannot have so many limbs removed at one time and remain healthy. No one who knew what they were doing would prune it so much.

You’ll have lots of vigorous sprouts come from the area at the end of the limb stubs but they will never regain the graceful form the tree had originally.

In addition, the stubs will eventually rot and allow water into the heart of the tree and it will become hollow…which will lead to its death. I think your best bet would be to remove the tree, grind the stump and plant another in its place.