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How to properly trim a cherry or weeping cherry?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    Apparently the other day, on a cleanup job, we trimmed a few overgrown barberry and several other bushes along with a 6' tall weeping cherry at a house. Customer asked for a bed cleanout and usually asks if we can trim up anything so it wasnt even something invoiced on a pruning and cleanup $400 job.

    Calls up 4 days later "today" flipping out about how her cherry tree took 4years of pruning to make it weep like that and now its ruined and how its going to be bottom heavy. I had two guys on site with me, remember them doing it and they didnt take much off, maybe 6" at most, i remember seeing them trimming it and honestly i myself didnt know right from wrong.

    Since ive done several in the past 5 years or so similar during trimming jobs if they were weeping all over and a complete mess... was this totally wrong to do ? How do you trim them then?

    I can see another $400 loss and loss of customer right here. Theres not much i can do about the tree. We trimmed all the stuff without any extra charge over $400 either :/ Sometimes ya cant win i guess.
  2. highlander316

    highlander316 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    did you selectively prune it? Or use gas trimmers?
  3. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    no it was nothing special or specific, gas hedge trimmer along the bottom most pieces hanging lowest, i wouldnt call it pruning anything, just trimming.
  4. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 731

    Weeping cherries should not be trimmed this time of year because they have a high chance of getting silver leaf disease.
  5. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I dare you to take somes pics and post them.....
  6. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    lol, i have pictures of the property but not the tree.. would it really help with a picture ?

    thanks simon.. ill just have to note cherry trees or something that weeps in the future in case of diseases etc.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Diseases are the least of it... I have never pruned a weeping tree, unless it is not properly weeping... That is something of a novelty and they grow slowly and the greater the mass of weeping branches, the greater the value of the tree...

    It's like the size of the beard on a turkey, or the size of the antlers on a whitetail buck. I am not trying to make you feel bad , but the word should be out there, that one never messes with a novelty , anything...

    That is the number one reason I stayed a solo operator, for my entire career.
  8. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,631

    Oops. I gotta say, I would never take a hedge clipper to a weeping cherry. Maybe prune off some dead wood with some hand pruners. Oh well, lesson learned.

    Tell her no charge on the pruning!
  9. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,049

    Those weeping cherries are a tough one. I don't touch them unless the customer request that we do. Some people like them natural looking, others like them trimmed like an umbrella.
  10. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,613

    prune dead wood, anything below the graft or anything that comes out of the top going straight up. NOTHING MORE

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