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How to Prune a Weeping Cherry Tree

The weeping cherry tree is one of the most beautiful and elegant trees you can add to your garden. However, if not properly taken care of, it can quickly become overgrown and unruly.

Proper trimming is essential for maintaining its graceful form and keeping it healthy. In this article, we’ll discuss why proper trimming of a weeping cherry tree is so important, as well as how to correctly.

From understanding when to prune your tree to knowing which branches or branch tips should be removed, this post will help make sure you keep your weeping cherry in tip-top shape!.

Weeping Cherry Tree

What is a grafted tree?

Grafting is a technique used to combine the branches, roots, and leaves of two different plants in order to create a single plant with desirable characteristics.

A grafted tree is one that has been created by joining two different species of trees together at their rootstocks. This process can be used to produce new varieties of ornamental flowering trees or entirely new fruit-bearing varieties as well.

Grafted weeping cherry trees are very popular due to their beautiful flowers and fast growth rates! I love my grafted weeping cherry tree.

The grafted area of my weeping cherry tree looks like a knot. The growth areas you see are called “suckers” and they need to be cut off and kept in check. 

These graft knot growth areas are sucking nutrients and resources from the cherry tree and need to me cut off.

You can either have grafted weeping cherry trees, or you can have natural weeping cherry trees.

Natural ones will not have these suckers to have to prune or worry about. However, they will have some branches that may grow upright.

Don’t trim the upright straight branches as they will start to bend over and fall to the ground with time. Give the upward growing branches some time to do their thing.

Weeping Cherry Tree

Why prune properly and the importance for the health of a weeping cherry tree

Proper pruning is an important part of proper care for a weeping cherry tree. Pruning helps to remove dead, diseased and damaged branches that can otherwise spread disease or pests throughout the tree.

It also helps to promote new growth and encourages the tree to form strong, healthy branches.

Allowing weak or overcrowded branches to remain on the tree can lead to structural problems and breakage in heavy winds or storms.

The anatomy of a weeping cherry tree

Weeping cherry trees have branches, roots, leaves and flowers. The branches help the tree stay strong in windy or stormy weather. Roots help the tree get water and nutrients from the soil.

Leaves help make food for the tree with sunlight. Flowers are pretty and come in different colors. You’ll see that these weeping trees may have pink flowers or white flowers.

When is the best time to prune your weeping cherry tree

The best time to prune your weeping cherry tree is during the dormant period in late winter thru early spring. In some areas, this dormant time may happen as early as late fall. This is when sap levels are lowest and new growth has not yet begun, which minimizes the amount of damage that can occur to the tree.

You want to do it then and not the late summer or late fall because it’s blooming and in a growing season during those time. If you prune when it’s dormant, it won’t cause too much damage to the tree as it begins its regrowth cycle for the year.

Make sure you’re using sharp, clean pruning tools and always make sure to wear protective gear like gloves, goggles and long sleeves.

How to Identify the dead wood and diseased branches on the weeping cherry tree

When pruning a weeping cherry tree, it’s important to remove any deadwood or diseased branches. Dead wood is easily identified by the lack of green leaves and brittle texture.

Diseased branches will usually have discoloration, unusual bumps or spots on their bark, and may also show signs of premature leaf drop or stunted growth.

It’s best to remove these branches as soon as they are noticed in order to prevent further spread of disease throughout the tree.

Weeping Cherry Tree


There are a lot of weeping cherry trees out there with what I call a bad haircut! I’ve seen dwarf and larger one’s alike that have been pruned like this. It kind of looks like a mushroom, everything is only at the top of the tree!

I think some like this “more formal” appearance, but for the health of the tree; it’s not optimal. The sun has a hard time penetrating the dense branches and the tree just isn’t meant to look sculpted and all formal. These are common mistakes.

I’m not an expert, but I have learned a lot since I’ve had my weeping cherry. So here are a few tips for how to prune a weeping cherry tree that I wish I had known when I first purchased mine!

Weeping Cherry Tree


Pruning should always begin with the lower branches and work your way up, as this will help to create an even branch structure. Try to keep in mind that removing too much of the tree’s canopy could cause it stress, so be sure not to prune more than a quarter of any given branch at once.

When cutting branches, make sure you use three-cut technique – first cut about one-third away from the trunk base of the tree along the bottom side of the branch, then cut two thirds away from the trunk on top side of the branch before finally sawing off near base on inside curve area. This technique helps prevent damage to both the bark and cambium layer beneath it.

Finally, be mindful of where you’re placing your cuts and make sure you don’t inadvertently damage the tree’s regrowth cycle by removing too much foliage. Pruning should always be done with caution, as it can drastically affect the health of your weeping cherry tree.

Make sure to remove any limbs that are rubbing against each other as well as any water sprouts which are branches coming out from the main stem at a steep angle.

Try to maintain an even canopy shape while also cutting away dead wood or weak branches that could potentially break off in storms. When making cuts, try to angle them slightly towards the outside of the tree.

Ensure that the wounds are properly sealed after pruning so you tree grows to the best of its ability.

After pruning a weeping cherry tree, it’s important to seal any open wounds in order to prevent diseases from entering the plant. Sealing can easily be done using wound dressing or tar-based sealers which will help protect against rot and promote healing.

Be sure to avoid any petroleum-based products and instead opt for natural materials like beeswax or paraffin wax when possible. Once applied, all cuts should be wiped clean with a dry cloth so that the sealant has been properly applied to the wound.

By following these steps, you’ll help your weeping cherry tree heal more quickly and maintain its health for years to come.

Select the right tools for pruning

To get the best results with pruning your weeping cherry tree, it’s important to use the right tools. Sharp hand saws, loppers and secateurs are all great options when it comes to removing large dead branches. Smaller twigs can be snipped off using sharp pruning scissors or shears. Sharp pruners help you get a clean cut easier.

It’s also important to not forget that protective gear like gloves, goggles and long sleeves should always while working on a tree.

Finally, make sure you sterilize any tools before using them in order to prevent the spread of disease from one healthy tree to another healthy tree.

How often should a weeping cherry tree be pruned?

Weeping cherry trees typically do not require frequent pruning. Instead, prune your weeping cherry tree once every two to three years and avoid doing any heavy pruning during the summer months as this can cause stress on the tree.

Pruning should always be done carefully in order to prevent damage and maintain the natural form of the tree. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your weeping cherry tree will stay healthy for many years to come!

Important Tips and Things to remember

  • Make sure your cuts are clean, angled slightly away from the branch collar and in line with the branch’s natural growth pattern.
  • Thin out excess sprouts and shoots to allow sunlight and air reach deeper within the weeping cherry.
  • Make sure you have all your tools, including a ladder, if necessary, ready to go before you make your first cut.
  • If you ever have any questions about if you should trim your weeping tree, or how to trim the weeping branches always ask a certified arborist.
  • Regular pruning of your tree is important to help continue healthy growth. Just be sure to do it during the right time of year and to do so properly. You don’t want to damage the tree and impact its growth.
  • Pay attention to the shape of the tree as you’re pruning don’t just start cutting straight up, you want to keep the natural weeping shape.

What variety of weeping cherry tree do I have in these pictures?

Because I know you guys are going to ask, I figured I’d share that my weeping cherry is a Snow Fountain variety. It has white flowers with pink centers each spring.

I know that this information isn’t super important to know how to prune the trees properly, but it is something that I have been asked already and wanted to share here for you.

It is not a dwarf tree, but will grow between 6 – 15 feet. I can’t wait to see the rapid growth and watch this whole tree come to life with beautiful spring blooms on the large branches when we have warm weather.

I hope you’ve found this tutorial to prune a weeping cherry tree helpful! Don’t forget to share it with your friends on Pinterest! If you like this post, you might also like:

How to Prune a Weeping Cherry Tree

I hope you’ve found this tutorial to prune a weeping cherry tree helpful!  Don’t forget to share it with your friends on Pinterest!  If you like this post, you might also like:

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Pam Grinnell

Monday 12th of July 2021

This was very helpful. Like others, we bought a new home with a weeping cherry that had a "bad haircut ". Before we identified the tree we did indeed call it the Mushroom tree. Thank you for the good advice.


Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

Hello! So glad I found your article! Thanks for writing it and for the great pictures. We decided to plant a snow fountains weeping cherry tree on the front corner of our house. I think it’s a dwarf too, because it says it only grows 8-12 feet. I was just wondering if you remember just at what distance from the house you planted yours. Thank you!

Doreen Cagno

Saturday 27th of March 2021

Hi. My weeping cherry was about 8 feet from my garden shed.

Laurie Potter

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

I have a dwarf weeping cherry that is now on the ground again. Do I prune again if so when? Thanks

Doreen Cagno

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

Yes, you can prune it.

Arlene reed

Saturday 25th of July 2020

I have a weeping cherry tree it's straight up just planted it this year it's around 5 foot will it weep on its own or will I have to train it

Doreen Cagno

Saturday 25th of July 2020

Hmmm. Most that I've seen, even smaller trees, already have the weeping shape. You may want to check where you purchased it to make sure it truly is a weeping variety?


Sunday 5th of July 2020

Is my dwarf weeping cherry tree dying? It’s leaves have all turned brown and dry. What can I do t keep it alive? Thank you Debbie

Doreen Cagno

Sunday 5th of July 2020

Hi, Debbie.

I think you should speak to an expert at a local-to-you gardening center.