Dying weeping cherry

chillowaySeptember 22, 2008

Hello - I need some help if possible. We have tree that literally turned brown in about a week. At first I thought voles had killed it since I am having a terrible infestation of them this year & the have eaten all my landscapings roots. But when I looked close it seems that the bark is splitting & also part of the trunk near where the branches start looks as if it is bulging. Almost like it grew around something. There is still some life way back in the branches. Any advice on what happened & if I can save it. It is the focal point of my home & I love it. Thank you so much. Debbie Ps. I am sorry if these pics are too big. It has been years since I used pics on this site.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

for my poor eyes... the pix are too SMALL ....

and sideways...

and hitting the pix.. does not take me to a bigger version ...

and while you are at it.. tell me why the tree looks like it is in full shade.... how much sun does it receive???? what are the trees adding the shade??? maple????? north side of the house?????

how long has it been there.. any recent construction??? ..... was it properly planted???? soil type???? what is that snake looking thing???? weeper hose???? what was your watering regimen????

any lawn service that sprays chemicals??? .... any other plants damaged????

any extra info.. will really help ....

thanks

ken

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 1:41PM
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chilloway

I am sorry - I should have given more info & I thought you had to keep pics small. OK - tree has been in for 10 yrs. on north side. Gets sun from about 1 pm on. Was always thriving. Snake thing is an irrigation hose (trying to revive it).Just normal sprinkler watering as had been for last 8 yrs. No idea about planting since it was here when home purchased. Only other trees are some oak & pine about 30 ft. away. Assuming the shade was from the house. Pics taken towards evening. No lawn chemicals done or anything different from previous years. BIg exception was the voles this year eating the roots of all my shrubs & flowers. Also there is definitely chipmonks living in that raised bed. Never had that before, either. This seemed to have happened VERY quickly. One week fine & growing & the next completely brown. I cut back the branches to live wood and gave some extra water for about 2 days. Then I noticed the split bark & the bulge on the trunk. I honestly do not know if that is new or not cause I never had cause to inspect that closely before. That is it. Thanks again. I hope these pics are a little better.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 3:39PM
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chilloway

Ken - the weather has not been overly hot & we have had more rain than usual this summer on Long Island but no other trees or shrubs (left alive by the voles) have had a problem. Thanks again, Debbie

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 3:43PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

grass is green and lush.. no drought ...
no chem's ....
sounds like enough sun ... which woulnt really kill it.. just reduce vigor ...

no interfering trees ...

should have well-established roots .. but for the voles ...

the one thing you didnt answer... soil ... but you added more rain than usual .... if clay soil.. could it have drowned???

did you add the retaining wall .. or was that there all these years...

where is the trunk flair???

i really think its a goner ... and until you dig it up.. we will never know what the voles may or may not have done to it ...

chippies are irrelevant... they dont eat wood .... but you should still get rid of them .. the cuteness wears out fast ... little hyperactive vermin ... rat trap.. baited with peanut butter placed next to a hole.. with a large inverted pot to keep it in the dark .... you will be surprised how few there really are

could it have drowned??

ken

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 4:28PM
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chilloway

Thanks for the reply. I really don't think it drowned as the bulk of the rain was much earlier in the season. Our soil is not clay at all - if anything it is on the sandy side. The wall is original to when it was planted. The swelling is right below where the branches start. It is visible in the second large shot in my post. Is the splitting in the bark normal for that age weeping cherry? Debbie

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 7:39PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am not a bark specialist... it looks like a tree moving toward maturity .. or was ....

i was referring to the trunk flair between the trunk and the roots ... which should be just ABOVE soil level ...

sand is probably.. in my estimate.. the best thing to grow trees in ... drainage.. which is a clay problem... can kill a lot of things ...

if you scratch a branch.. in young bark ... is there any green under the bark ... that is the cambian layer.. the blood system of the tree [in simplistic terms] .. moving food down to the roots.. and liquids up ... if it is black.. or missing... that branch is dead ... try elsewhere.. but dont get carried away and scratch up the whole tree ...

the weeping part of the tree was grafted to a standarnd ... it looks like there might be some suckers coming from ground level.. they will NOT be weeping trees.... if everything above the graft dies.... you probably do NOT want it there ...

if you do find green... you may want to wait until spring.. to see if it buds back out... do you see any buds at this time... sometimes.. for reasons never determined.. a tree will go dormant early ... but that usually happens in severe drought.. which you say didnt occur ...

i am at a loss to go much further for you ....

its bargain time at the bigboxstores and nurseries... if you are leaning toward replacement.. now might be the time to save some money on replacement ... if you can get decent stock.. that hasnt been sitting in the parking lot all summer ....

in the alternative.. if its going to drive you crazy for the winter.. wondering.. fretting.. worrying... it may be better to be done with it now .... tough choice...

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 8:59AM
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chilloway

Yes if you go near the back of the branches - it is green and alive so I think I will wait until Spring. I thank you very much for your advice & information. Meanwhile I can only hope for an extremely cold winter to rid us of these horrible vole creatures. Thanks again, Debbie.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 9:57AM
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dlcmd

Did your cherry tree survive? Ever figure out definitively what happened to it?

I am having very similar issues with my weeping cherry tree. It leafed out again this spring, although leaves were much smaller than previous years, blossomed, and now all of a sudden the leaves are turning brown and it looks like it is dying.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 7:36AM
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