|Tree growth and habit
The cherimoya tree is fairly dense, low branched, somewhat shrubby or spreading, ranging from 5 to 9m in height. It can be quite easily kept to a smaller size by careful pruning. Young trees will harp, forming opposite branches as a natural espalier. These can be pruned off to form a regular freestanding trunk. Growth is in one long burst after the leaves have fallen (about October or November). The roots commence as taproot, but the slow-growing root system is rather weak, superficial, and ungreedy. Young plants need staking.
Cherimoya have an unusually short period of dormancy in late spring when they lose their leaves from the top downwards over a period of about three weeks. As the lower branches are losing their leaves the buds at the top are already developing into new shoots. Leaf drop is necessary as new buds come from beneath the leaf petiole within the leaf scar and not the leaf axil like most trees.