We have a weeping cherry (does not produce fruit)

Asked September 7, 2016, 4:54 PM EDT

Our tree has leaves that are yellowing and dying, any suggestions? This tree is about 15 ft. high and is 14 years old, due to the nature of it weeping it has a center that holds water and other various things. What can we do to prevent this getting any problems. We had a maple with this problem that we had to cut down due to rotting. Please help me with these 2 problems. This is an ornamental and does not produce fruit. Thanks, Rita

Bullitt County Kentucky

1 Response

Ornamental fruit trees can have the same disease and insect problems the fruiting type may suffer. (A spray schedule is provided at the end.) Weeping cherries are no exception. They are also man-made trees, a weeping or flowing top growth grafted onto a more resilient trunk and root system. The graft will always be a weak point as anything that affects it can ruin the "weeping" look of tree. This area should be cleared of fallen leaves and debris. Care in pruning to avoid injury to this area is also necessary.

Generally speaking, established trees rarely react to just one stress or decline rapidly (unless due to major trauma such as a lightning strike). I suspect there are several factors involved with the decline of your tree.

Disease can certainly be a factor, as well as environmental issues such as compacted soil, pH fluctuations, water (too much or not enough), competition from other plants, lawn pesticides/fertilizers, physical damage, physical injury and incorrect pruning can all be part of this problem. Spotted leaves this time of year is not uncommon if the tree has been stressed by any of these issues. You are welcome to bring a branch sample into our office for us to send to the lab. We need a branch with both healthy and affected tissue so the progression of the problem can be seen. The lab can not do plant 'autopsies' so the sample should be fresh.

To have the tree evaluated on site you may wish to hire a certified arborist.

Spray schedule for peaches, cherries and other pit fruit fruit:

Feel free to contact our office if you have other questions.

Let me know if I can help you further!

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