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Cherry tree pruning

The habit of the plum to bear early and abundantly under favorable conditions limits its annual growth to such an extent that after the bearing age is attained little annual pruning is necessary other than to remove dead or interfering limbs or to head back an occasional strong shoot which may appear from time to time in the center of the crown.

The plum, as well as the cherry, has the annoying habit of, occasionally producing strong shoots from adventitious buds along the trunk of the tree or, from near the surface of the ground. A close watch should be kept for such interlopers in order that they may, be promptly removed.

During the early years of the growth of both of these plants care should be exercised to secure a proper distribution of the limbs which are to form the framework branches of the tree, particularly with the Japan plums and the sweet cherries, as both these species have the unfortunate habit of dividing into two shoots of nearly equal size with a close angle between, which always forms a weak joint. Trees not carefully pruned to overcome this bad habit are liable to severe injury from splitting when heavily loaded with fruit.

In the early period of the growth of both the Japan and American plums, as well as the sweet cherry, the annual growth will, need more or less severe cutting back, depending upon soil and climatic conditions, in order to maintain them within bounds. On general principles this heading should be done just before growth starts in the spring The European plums (Prunus domestica) do well when trained after the general fashion of the peach. In general however, the main trunk of the plum should be somewhat longer than that of the peach, in order that the work of jarring for the curculio may be facilitated if the orchard happens to be located where this operation is necessary.

The fruiting habits of the plum and the cherry are more closely allied to those of the apple and the pear than to the peach, and for that reason the shortening of the annual growth is of less moment with these plants than with the peach.