Cherry trees are stone fruit trees and hardier than some of their other fruit cousins. Like any fruit tree, though, cherries require consistent pruning to keep their growth healthy and their fruit production steady. Prune cherries at specific times to accomplish specific goals.
Prune fruit trees only when they're dormant in the winter. This keeps the tree from spending reserves trying to heal itself immediately.
Cherry trees awake and begin to grow very early in the spring season, so it's important to accomplish heavy pruning in late winter. Prune just after the last frost of the season.
Cherry trees should be 3 to 5 years old before heavy pruning takes place. Younger trees have more trouble recovering from pruning and should receive training instead.