Do you have an ornamental tree but are not sure how to take care of it properly? Or are you planning to get an ornamental cherry tree but are not sure if you can give it the maintenance it needs? Before leaping on the bigger pot of how to prune your tree, let us start with the basics first.
What are ornamental cherry trees?
When a tree is called “ornamental”, it generally means that the particular tree is grown to be displayed and seen. This would mean that they are planted and taken care of because of their aesthetic visual and its pleasing features. When a tree is ornamental, they usually have a beautiful shape, looks great in various seasons, has a colorful bark, and a unique pleasant smell. The most popular ornamental trees are cherries, crabapples, and dogwoods. Most people and landscapers love displaying at least one ornamental tree to highlight their lawn.
Ornamental cherry trees, also called in its scientific name of Prunus serrulata, are one of the trees that takes the top spot on the list of the most beautiful ornamental trees. There are many varieties of the Japanese Cherry Tree such as Kanzan, Accolade, and Kiku Shidare Sakura. These trees usually grow between 15 to 40 feet and can live up to 50 years.
When should you prune your ornamental tree?
When you need to prune your ornamental tree, timing is a very important factor to make sure that you are not inflicting unnecessary hurt and damage to your tree. After all, you would just want to prune to make sure that they are in their best condition.
Contrary to popular belief, pruning trees should not only be done once a year. The act of pruning, where to prune, and how to prune are highly dependent on a lot of factors such as the type of ornamental tree, the season, your location, and their age. When you prune, you need to remember this: the general rule of thumb when pruning ornamental cherry trees is to do it usually when your tree is dormant or is getting ready to, which would be in winter, the early spring, or in the late fall. This is to decrease the chances of having your tree infected while keeping its wounds away from pests and insects.
For cherry trees, most arborists say that the most crucial pruning happens when you need to cut off their deadwood, and the rest would be considered light pruning. Just make sure to do it properly using the right tools and your tree will be good.
If you are unsure of the whole pruning process and want to secure your tree’s wellbeing, get an arborist to do the maintenance.
Things you will need for pruning
Proper pruning is not just the process of cutting but also choosing the right tools. When you choose the wrong one, you can infect your tree, make it susceptible to disease, and possibly be the reason why your tree will die.
Some of the necessary pruning tools are the following:
Pruning shears or hand pruners
Also called clippers, you will use this tool for smaller branches that would be around half an inch in diameter.
Loppers are used for branches that are up to two and a half inches thick. They are stronger than pruners and will be able to cut thicker branches.
Saws are mainly used for cherry tree branches that are up to five inches in diameter.
If your ornamental cherry tree is of a taller height, you will need to use a pole pruner for an easier maintenance procedure. This type of tool is specifically used for tree branches that are difficult to reach.
How to take care of your pruning tools
Before you use any type of pruning tool, make sure that they are sharp. Using tools that have a dull blade will make the process difficult and time-consuming and will result in shabby or jagged cuts. There is also the risk of putting unnecessary stress on the cherry tree.
Keep your tree healthy by sanitizing the tools before every use. Using a dirty tool can infect your tree and transfer diseases to other plant life. Wipe your tool and drop them in a container of rubbing alcohol before using them to prune your tree.
Make the pruning process easy and safe by sharpening your tools regularly. This can make your cuts cleaner and will help you be more efficient in your trimming journey. The sharper the pruner you have, the easier the pruning will be not only for you but also for the tree.