Question about weeping cherry

pjgooch51March 13, 2013

I refer to these boards often but have never posted until now. I bought a house three years ago with a weeping cherry in the front. I've been active in the garden but I admit I don't have a handle yet on proper tree maintenance and pruning, so the cherry has been overlooked for the most part.

About halfway up the trunk there is a branch that is growing straight up and by now it has reached beyond the top of the canopy. Based on the resources I've found online, I was under the impression that this type of branch growing from the trunk should be removed. However, on closer inspection, while the main branch grows vertically, there appear to be smaller branches growing from it that are weeping. So now I don't know if this should be pruned or not.

In the photo, you can see the branch growing up toward the canopy. Weeping branches emerge at the junction seen near the crown.

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Cut off everything below the graft.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:16AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont see anything weeping from this pic.. it appears EVERYTHING goes straight up ... perhaps its a trick of the camera with the large tree behind ...

how about a pic from the opposite direction ...

now.. while that is brewing .. take a pic from the middle of the street ... and think about what this tree is doing to the presentation of your front door...

plantings.. near your front door.. are to add elegance to your home.. add value ... and what this MIGHT be telling the visitor.. is ... well.. you tell me what it is saying ...
i would have that tree out of there in the time it takes you to take and upload new pix ...

YOU CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER ... and i am wondering if nothing there.. would be better ...

this would be a cool restoration project out in the back 3 acres.. please let me suggest.. it isnt worth doing out your front door ...


ps: yes.. off with the new leader half way up the trunk.. at a minimum ... do you know about branch collars and all that stuff???

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 11:19AM
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I took another pic where the leader gives way to some smaller branches that (I think) are weeping. Sounds like I should remove it all either way.

The tree is quite pleasant in the spring and summer, and is not really obscuring my front door.

As far as branch collars, I know the basics about being careful to prune in a certain way and not damaging or cutting into the collar. What else should I be aware of? The local paper actually just ran a feature on correct tree pruning given the time of year.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 1:53PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"Sounds like I should remove it all either way."

Yes, indeed.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 10:33PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

w/o the pic from the middle of the street.... i will have to guess ...

if you google pix of this thing.. you will see that it has the potential to be about 20 feet wide ...

so the basic problem is that it should NOT have been planted.. 3 feet from the sidewalk to the front door

and in doing that.. the prior owner.. created a pruning nightmare ...

and then did a poor job taking care of it..

and that is why it is unsalvagable ... IMHO ....

again.. as i said.. out back.. sure.. play with it.. front door.. you can do better ...

also .... IMHO.. its not worth the effort to move it.. at that size ... unless you simply need the exercise ...

now.. all that said ... here is what you do.. go to town on it.. practicing your pruning.. see how it reacts ... and see if what you end up with pleases you ... and then in late summer.. or fall.. if you dont like it.. GET RID OF IT ...

AND I MEAN REALLY GO TO TOWN ON IT .... none of this half-donkeyed .. i'm afraid to hurt this thing ... i mean take off everything the shoots upwards.... targeting a height that you like..

these thing usually fail.. when they have an owner.. who doesnt want to 'hurt' the darn thing.. and then lets them escape into a form they were never meant to be ...

good luck


    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:41AM
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Well, it will be a mess to prune and fix and clean up, but unsalvageable? Nah. A ton of work to fix? Yup. Back in the day I used to maintain about a half-dozen of these and once they are set the way you want them it's not a problem. And I think you can keep it such that the sidewalk won't be obscured - the two weeks of pink fountain at the walk will be fun.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 10:23AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Please cut that one shoot out, it hurts my eyes.... otherwise the rest doesn't look THAT bad. A pic from futher back would tell more, but I would guess it's already been hacked at to keep it off the sidewalk.

I have one that I'm actually starting to like. It took a year or two to grow out of the umbrella cut it had been getting before I moved in, but overall it has a nice shape.... if you like a looming cousin it sitting next to your driveway... but I do like it.
I almost wish it didn't bloom though. For 6 or so days it turns a dirty pink and then it's done for the year. At least the bees don't mind the color.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 6:22PM
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