Weeping Cherry Help!!

dianna912May 4, 2014

Disclosure: I know very little about gardening, and especially pruning.

When we bought our house two years ago, this weeping cherry looked awful to me. It had the dreaded bowl cut, and was very unattractive. I had a weeping cherry at my previous house, and it was gorgeous, and completely low maintenance. We never pruned it. It just grew into a beautiful fully weeping shape all on its own, and we actually let it sweep the ground, because I loved the look. I hoped that if we gave this one long enough it would achieve the same thing, but as you can tell, it isn't happening.

I can't decide if the previous owners just cut it in all the wrong places because the majority of the branches grow straight up before weeping. I've done a lot of reading up on this, most of which I can't make sense of, but I do know that this is a grafted tree, but based on my observations, I do not think the straight branches are coming from below the graft. They have the same color blooms, and they seem to all be above the graft. Most of the straight branches are coming off of a weeping, horizontal branch, if that makes sense, so I think it was just bad pruning.

Is there anything that can be done to create more of the full weeping effect, or is this poor cherry destined to be scrapped? I keep hoping the straight ones will become heavy enough and just lay over, but right now it just looks wild.

Thanks for any advice you all can give, especially in "pruning for dummies" terms! :)

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Here is another photo of a close up of the inner branches. Is there a reason my pics are showing up sideways? I even rotated this one on my computer before posting and it still turned it the opposite way?!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Habit of tree is fine. Do not attempt to alter it. Do remove any straight branches that never arch over, should those appear - they would be coming from the trunk, below the existing clump of curving branches.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 5:18PM
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I think the habit of the tree looks fine as well. I don't have a weeping cherry, but I do have a couple crab apples whose labels described them as weeping. They certainly didn't look like so many of the typical weeping cherry trees, and their initial growth on the youngest branches were also more upright. I got to reading up on the habits of those cultivars and found out they are better described as 'pendulous' and I really like their presentation so much better than the severely weeping trees. As their branches grow, the weight of the branch eventually bends them over in a most pleasing and novel way and it's so much more natural than the box store items everyone else seems to be growing. The only pruning I've done on them is to remove some crossing branches and open up the canopy a bit to the sun. They've been installed maybe fifteen years now down by the little spring pond, and just keep getting prettier in their habit. Both are in bloom now and I stand at my kitchen window and soak them i as I'm working.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2014 at 10:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

without the name of a specific cultivar ... its hard to compare plants... as in.. your old one.. with the new one ..

i bet your old one.. was some foo foo cultivar.. grafted onto a standard .... and named for how it weeped ...

this one.. looks more like to non-foo foo one ...

as noted.. this is its normal growth pattern ...

you will not prune it into being the other one ...

you seem to have plenty of lawn ... go buy the one you want. .. and when you are thrilled with it.. get rid of this one.. if it continues to fail to make you happy ...

you avoid the haircut look.. by hand pruning it higher into the tree ... at lets say.. any fork in the road ... instead of putting a big bowl on top of it.. and cutting straight across the bowl edge ...

or.. just kill the grass below.. put in a few inches of mulch ... and enjoy it in its natural form ....


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 6:58AM
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