Can a Cherry Tree be Pollarded?
If you are busy with work or school, the best time for pollarding will be late winter to early spring. Pollarding is better than pruning if you just want to reduce the amount of fruit your tree produces, but still maintain its shape. Pruning can also be used to reduce the number of cherries on the tree, but it does not work as well as pollarding. Pollarding may not always be necessary for cherry trees – some cultivars only produce fruit every other year and others produce less fruit than standard cherry trees.
* When pollarding, cut branches back to the branch collar. Remove all smaller branches that are more than 6 inches in diameter. Also, try to get rid of every other Blossom on every other branch. Shape the branches to reduce the number of branches that are producing or are shading out other plants or fruit or flowers
* Cherry trees will typically become smaller and bushier after pollarding. This can be a benefit to someone who does not have a lot of room for the tree, but is still interested in maintaining an attractive tree. Ideally, you should keep the tree at a height that is comfortable for you to maintain and harvest cherries from. Remember that some fruit will fall before being harvested.
* Ample sunlight is very important for pollarding to work properly.
* If you are not sure how to do it, find someone who is experienced. If you are not, keep in mind that this is serious work.
* If you plan on pollarding, try to find a tree that is at least eight years old. This will give the tree time to stabilize and help to reduce its stress if you are not experienced in pruning or pollarding. You can still prune it however, if not using the pruning for pollarding. Prune branches back to 4 inches in diameter or use wire cutters to remove small branches. Remove all fruit that is only 2 inches in diameter rather than producing good fruit.
* Pollarding does not work for all cherry tree cultivars. Some will not be affected by it at all, while others may produce smaller cherries, but will not grow into a tree that is smaller and bushier.
* The main difference between pollarding and pruning is that with pollarding, you would be getting rid of branches and more than just the fruit. With pruning, your objective is to get rid of the fruit and remove unhealthy or dead branches.
* The difference between pollarding and pruning is that pruning usually indicates getting rid of branches to help control how much fruit is produced, while pollarding involves the idea of reducing the number of branches. Pruning also removes dead or diseased tissue, whereas pollarding may not always involve this part.
Pollarding retains the shape of the cherry tree, but only cuts out some cherries. It does not work for all cherry trees however, although it does reduce the amount of fruit on your cherry tree.