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a lot of dead limbs on Weeping Cherry tree #241880 - Ask Extension


a lot of dead limbs on Weeping Cherry tree #241880

Asked May 05, 2015, 1:44 PM EDT

I have a Weeping Cherry tree that we have had for about 10 years. It's huge, not like your normal size weeping cherry tree but for the last 2 years it's has less and less leaves and a lot of dead limbs. I have looked at leaves and around tree but never found anything. Please advise me what to do. We love this tree and don't want to have to dig it up because it's huge and we don't want to loose it

Jefferson County Kentucky

Expert Response

Weeping ornamental trees are man-made, they are actually two plants in one. The weeping form is grafted to a sturdy trunk of the same species of plant. Sometimes part or all of the graft dies. Causes may be wounds close to or at the graft site, sun scald, disease, incorrect pruning or a natural response to the graft itself. The tree may grow in an unusual manor or branches die back after this occurs.

From the information given,  it appears the tree may have been in stress for several years. In an urban setting competition for space, water, sunlight and resources can set the stage for problems and these trees are still susceptible to the same insects and disease as fruiting cherries. Extreme temperatures may have killed buds both two years in a row adding to any environmental stress.

* Dead or diseased branches should be pruned out, if possible.
* Water deeply during periods of drought.
* Early spring is the optimum time to fertilize these trees, Compost is an excellent slow fertilizer.
* A soil test would help you with nutrients and any pH problems.
* Be careful when applying pesticides for the lawn.

Good luck and please let me know if I can help you further.

Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
810 Barret Ave
Louisville Ky 40204

Carol Wilder Replied May 08, 2015, 4:50 PM EDT

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