Pruning and Training Cherry Trees

A new free downloadable guide describes the natural growth habit of cherry trees, options for rootstocks that can affect tree growth and precocity, pruning and training techniques for production.
Pruning and Training Cherry Trees - Articles

Updated: August 8, 2017

Pruning and Training Cherry Trees

A new cherry production guide describes the natural growth habit of cherry trees, options for rootstocks that can affect tree growth and precocity, pruning and training techniques to achieve managed and efficient orchard production of high quality fresh market fruit, and the matching of rootstocks and training systems to variations in orchard site growth conditions. It is available free as a downloadable file for printing or as a free application for computer tablets like the iPad or Android-based tablets. The Pruning Guide tablet app is easily navigated by touching pictures of each system, swiping across the screen to switch between systems or pull up expanded illustrations, and/or scrolling up and down through each year of training operations.

Seven distinct tree canopy training systems are described:

Three multiple leader systems:

  • the Kym Green Bush (KGB)
  • the Spanish Bush (SB)
  • the Upright Fruiting Offshoots (UFO), which is a trellised system to create either a vertical narrow fruiting wall (UFO) or dual inclined narrow fruiting walls (UFO-Y).

Four single leader systems:

  • the Steep Leader (SL)
  • the Vogel Central Leader (VCL)
  • the Tall Spindle Axe (TSA)
  • the Super Slender Axe (SSA), which also creates a vertical narrow fruiting wall.

The description of each training system includes recommended rootstocks, tree spacing, and year-by-year training goals and developmental steps.

The Cherry Training Systems Guide can be supplemented by a 23 segment video series (nearly 3 hours total, developed by Jon Clements, Extension Specialist at University of Massachusetts, and Win Cowgill, Extension Specialist at Rutgers University) of pruning demonstrations by Gregory Lang and Lynn Long available on the Gisela Cherry YouTube channel.

A new Cherry Training Systems publication is available free of charge as either a PDF file or as an app downloadable to your iPad or Android