Cherry Tree – Should I Prune Dead Limbs Now?

Q: We have two old flowering cherry trees at our church. They have several dead limbs and didn’t bloom very well. Is there anything I should do now to strengthen them before pruning this winter? 

A: I think no harm would result from pruning dead and weak limbs just about anytime. One of the things I have learned is that cherries (and peaches) prefer a higher soil pH than most trees. Consider applying a few pints of powdered garden lime to the tree root zone and beyond the drip line now. Fertilize next spring with a product like Holly-tone or Milorganite.

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