Diseased Weeping Cherry Please Diagnose?

Asked May 28, 2014, 9:02 AM EDT

This 10-yr old weeping cherry did not have leaves or blossoms this year; branches are brittle. There are black sores (cankers??) on the trunk, including at the ground/base and where the branches start. The attached closeup photo is near where branches start, bark is peeling. We hope this beautiful tree can be saved, would you please help diagnose?

Delaware County Pennsylvania trees and shrubs urban forestry weeping cherry trees

3 Responses

Hi:
Unfortunately, this tree looks dead to me. Ornamental cherries typically don't make it to 20 years old. It appears that the tree may have been planted to deep. I don't see a noticeable root flare at the boot. Without digging around the base of the tree, I can't tell if there are other root zone issues such as a girdling nylon cord. Also, trees should have a mulch area around them - to the drip line is optimal, but that usually doesn't happen. The grass is a competitor for the tree. Once a cherry is stressed, it usually gets attacked by peachtree borer. This is a moth that lays eggs near the base of the tree. The larvae tunnel into the wood cutting the system of tubes that move water, nutrients up and sugars down. The tunnels also ooze fluid.

Sorry for the news...thankful for your response!

Hi:
Glad I could help. They are beautiful when they flower, but they do have a number of issues.