Masterly slicing sour cherries - tutorial for cutting

Masterly slicing sour cherries - tutorial for cutting

Variety types - differences in focus

Sour cherries differ significantly from sweet cherries in their growth behavior. This circumstance primarily requires a different cut. Furthermore, the gardener should know which type of sour cherry grows in his green kingdom. The cut care takes this into account in many ways. The following overview summarizes the outstanding criteria of both types of variety:

also read

  • How and when - cut the sour cherry
  • The harvest time of the sour cherry - when is it time?
  • Sour cherry and sweet cherry - what are the differences?

Morelle type

  • Popular varieties: Gerema, Morellenfeuer
  • Blossoms and fruit on the annual wood
  • Tends to form long, bare whip shoots with few leaves at the outer end

Sour cherry type

  • Popular varieties: carnelian, Koröser Weichsel, sapphire, agate, jade, Heimann's ruby ​​softsel
  • Blossoms and fruits on one, two and three year old wood
  • Characteristic feature: short fruit wood, richly garnished with flower buds and leaves


The distinction according to type of variety is wasted if a sour cherry suffers from Monilia peak drought. If shoot tips dry out in the middle of the season, there is immediate need for action. Cut all affected branches back into the sound wood. Then clean and disinfect the cutting tool carefully to avoid unintentional transmission of the pathogen to other trees.

The best time to cut is in summer

When choosing the best time to cut, commercial fruit growing is a role model for hobby gardeners. As early bloomers, sour cherries open their buds in the previous year . After harvesting, subject the crown to maintenance pruning, encourage this year's bud formation. Varieties of the type Schattenmorelle be every year cut. For varieties of the sour cherry type, pruning is on the program every 2 to 3 years .

An exception applies to radical pruning measures, such as the rejuvenation of an aged sour cherry. In this case, the summer grace period from March to September, which is prescribed in the Federal Nature Conservation Act, applies. Extensive pruning is permitted from October 1st to February 28th, provided that no wild animals overwinter in the treetops or bushes.

Cut the morello cherries

Popular sour cherries such as morello cherries, morello fire or gerema bloom and fruit on the annual wood. This also means that the fruit trees tend to shed. Furthermore, the young, thin shoots lean towards the ground under their juicy, sour weight. This growth behavior with distinctive whip shoots requires an annual maintenance pruning , as illustrated below. How to cut properly:

  • The best time is after the harvest in dry, cloudy weather
  • Cut back overhanging shoots by half to two thirds
  • Derive every whip instinct to a lower new instinct
  • Important: Do not prune new shoots to encourage vigorous growth

In connection with the pruning of worn whip shoots, dedicate yourself to a continuous rejuvenation of the crown. To do this, remove the oldest guide branch on Astring every two to three years. Alternatively, you can redirect the relevant scaffold branch to a young, outward-facing side branch as a successor.

Morelle cut back


Steep branches do not bear fruit

If shoots with almost vertical growth direction dominate your sour cherry, you will look in vain for blossoms and fruits. A branch only turns into valuable fruit wood when it is at an angle of about 60 ° to the trunk or guide branch. You should regulate a branch that is too steep. This can be done very easily with wooden struts, weights or string. The younger and more flexible the wood, the easier it is to lay flat. The growth then calms down so that the first flower buds can form.

Cut sour cherry

With sour cherries of the sour cherry type you will at no time struggle with bald whip shoots. Popular varieties, such as Saphir or Favorit, impress with their upright growth. Blossoms and fruits also thrive on older wood, with no signs of premature baldness. With this habit, sour cherries make pruning easy for the gardener. How to do it right:

  • Prune sour cherries at intervals of 2 to 3 years
  • The best time is after the cherry harvest
  • Prune crown from weak, inward or dead branches
  • Cut back steep shoots on short tenons

After three to four years, the fruit wood is almost exhausted and often heavily branched in the upper area. With a targeted derivation cut, you breathe fresh courage to live in the tired wood. Look for a young, one to two year old side shoot in the rear area. Cut off the old wood at the branch.

Sour cherry cut back


Cut off the stalk instead of plucking it

The sword of Damocles hovers over all fruit trees. This is a fungal infection and not cancer in the medical sense. The pathogens act as wound parasites and lie in wait for the smallest wounds in the wood. It pays to cut off every fruit stalk when harvesting sour cherries. Picking sour cherries leaves small sores on the branch, which cunning fungal spores serve as a welcome target.

Rejuvenate old sour cherry

Morello cherries age within a few years if the pruning is neglected. Without an occasional clearing cut, this fate is also sealed for a sour cherry. The crown is transformed into an impenetrable network of branches that bare from the inside. Flowers and fruits are rare. However, that is no reason to grub up an old sour cherry. The good cut tolerance allows a radical rejuvenation cut that brings a breath of fresh air to profitability. How to proceed professionally:

  • The best time is between the end of January and the end of February in frost-free, dry weather
  • At the beginning saw off dead wood on astring
  • Trail-like, drooping branches derive from a young side shoot at the base

The more old, aged branches you can derive from young side shoots, the better the tolerance of a rejuvenation cut. If no side shoots can be found, cut the branch in question onto cones. Leave a stump 4 to 6 inches. Several young shoots will sprout at this point by the next summer or the next. Choose the two most promising specimens with an oblique-horizontal direction of growth. Remove all other shoots along with the dried cone remains.

frequently asked Questions

Is the sour cherry self-fertile?

Sour cherries are predominantly dependent on a neighboring pollinator variety. This can also be a sweet cherry in the neighbor's garden, as long as both cherry trees are in bloom at the same time and there are enough insects on the way for pollination. Sour cherries offered as self-fertile generally benefit if there is another variety within a radius of 200 to 300 meters.

I planted the sour cherry variety Saphir 3 years ago. This year a lonely cherry is developing. What can I do to increase the fruit yield?

It is not uncommon for tart cherries to bear fruit in their third year. At the beginning, the fruit trees concentrate on strong root growth and stable crown formation. You can improve the willingness to flower and the fruit yield by administering a phosphorus-emphasized berry fertilizer from March to the end of July. Furthermore, the fruit yield increases if you plant a second variety of sour cherries.

My sour cherry “Morellenfeuer” should not be bigger than 2.50 to 3.00 meters. When and how should I cut?

In these circumstances, we recommend pruning twice a year. In summer, you thin out worn fruit wood and remove bald, drooping whip shoots. Between the end of January and the end of February, prune the crown by a third wherever there are no swelling flower buds.

Can you tell me whether the morello cherries should be cut? If so, when and how does it work?

Cherries should be cut annually. It is advisable to prune at least a third of the worn, whip-shaped shoots. The best time is immediately after the harvest in overcast, dry weather. You should pay attention to the following premises: remove all upwardly growing, intersecting and parallel shoots. Take out twigs that are growing towards the inside of the crown. Thinning the crown of the sour cherry heavily overall so that the light can reach all regions.

The 3 most common mistakes

A sour cherry without picturesque spring blossom and juicy fruits is usually the victim of a typical cutting error. To protect the readers of this tutorial from annoying damage and crop failure, the following table lists the three most common errors and gives tips for prevention:

Cutting errorsDamageprevention
cut in late winterLoss of flowers and fruitsCut sour cherries after harvest
never cutpremature aging and balding, decreasing crop yieldChop morello annually, sour cherries every 3 years
Steep shoots not removed or placed flatlittle fruit wood, dense network of sterile shootsThin out shoots that are too steep or spread them at a 60 ° angle


Regular pruning of sour cherries also serves as an effective prevention against the dreaded Monilia peak drought. By vigorously cutting back worn, old and vulnerable wood, you remove existing spore deposits of the fungal disease. Please do not dispose of suspicious clippings on the compost, but put them in the garbage can or at the municipal composting facility.