Hi. I have a Kwanzan cherry tree in my front yard which is splitting and...

Asked July 17, 2014, 6:32 PM EDT

Hi. I have a Kwanzan cherry tree in my front yard which is splitting and oozing sap. The tree is 7 years old or so. We have lost the same type of tree which was previously planted in the same spot just before we replaced it with the current one. Same situation. I first noticed the problem in early spring but it is quickly getting worse. The bark is coming off. It sits in full sun. I did put some grass/weed killer around the ground around the tree early this spring as the weeds were getting bad. The tree is about 12' tall I'm guessing. It also looks like it is splitting. Can it be saved?

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

We hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but your tree does not look well and is probably not long for this world.
There are multiple things going on here, but the peeling bark will be fatal.
It looks like you have serious bark damage from a much earlier time. There are signs that the tree attempted to heal itself, but the wounds are too great.
Additionally, where the tree meets the ground there is no sign of the gentle flare or widening of the trunk that should be there, indicating that the tree was planted too deeply. The the crackingat the crotch (which may let rainwater in and lead to rot, and the bleeding sap suggest insect pests like borers are inside as well. They are often attracted to weak and stressed trees.
If the canopy is still attractive and the tree bloomed this spring you can enjoy it for as long as it has left, unless it is a hazard were it to fall in which case you should remove it. We recommend replacing it with something else.