Weeping Cherry Tree

Asked April 29, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT

I have a weeping cherry tree that hardly bloomed this year and now also seems to be having trouble pushing leaves. This is the 1st time in the 26 yrs. that we have the tree that I have had a problem with the it. As I am not sure of the life expectancy of the tree I'm not sure if I am having some other issue or if the tree may be dying. Any advice would be appreciated.

Lebanon County Pennsylvania

1 Response

The weeping cherry is indeed a beautiful tree in bloom. I have one that is 20 years old and still blooming in Lebanon County.
It’s difficult to diagnose a tree problem without additional information. It could be due to insect or disease fungus or possibly abiotic – that is not caused by an insect or by a disease pathogen. Abiotic stresses include water (too much or too little), weather conditions (too hot, for one), nutrient deficiency, improper mulching (mulch volcanoes), misuse of chemicals, air pollution injury, and many others. One major reason associated with winter cherry death is winter dehydration. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Excessive winter winds can desiccate trees. Warm periods in winter followed by cold and windy can also lead to dehydration effects. Dry conditions in late fall, November and December when roots are growing the most, can seriously effect a tree as well.
Your best plan would be to take a branch sample (ailing, but not yet completely dead) to your cooperative extension office at 2120 Cornwall Rd in Lebanon. Call ahead to see if staff is available because office hours vary throughout the week. You will be asked questions about watering, herbicide use, whether this tree is a graft or not and general culture. You might want to look at the base of the trunk for anything unusual (sap oozing out because of borers or physical damage, wrapping roots, cracks, et al.).

Alternatively, you could submit photos of damaged or diseased areas of the tree with your question to this same web site. I have included a web site references to cherry tree disease to help you identify symptoms that would help the local extension staff/Master Gardener hot line staff identify the problem and make recommendations. See: http://extension.psu.edu/pests/plant-diseases/all-fact-sheets/cherry-diseases Good luck.