How to prune my young tree



I have a young service berry that I only planted an year ago and I just found out that it having two co-dominant leader stems is a problem. I know I have to pick one stem and trim it but I’m not sure which I should pick to ensure that it grows straight up and and that the resulting wound isn’t too big. I’ve attached a picture of the tree, any and all guidance will be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you.


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners

Thank you for the photo of your Service Berry Tree. I am going to assume it is Amelanchier canadensis. This time of year is perfect for pruning out crossing or diseased branches. The Amelanchier small trees normally do not require pruning – other than for shaping or controlling of size. Amelanchier normally grows into a regularly shaped upright but rounded shrub. Pruning 1/4 or less of a young tree will safe guard against over-pruning. It may take more than one year of pruning to have the results you require.

Looking at your Service Berry, I see a main stock with two branches providing the tree with the rounded shape it naturally grows into. To remove the  second leader I would follow the following directions. please scroll down for the visual directions on how to properly prune a V shaped branch which I believe the tree in the photo has. Removing branches from a young tree

This short video on how to prune a young tree may also assist you in your pruning. Two Leaders

Young tree pruning Two leaders pruning

Suggest you may want to stake the small tree to gently redirect its branches once pruned to your liking. Staking a young tree

Thank you for your question.