Cherry Tree

Asked April 18, 2017, 8:46 PM EDT

i have several cherry trees. One of them has not leafed out. Any idea on what might be causing this?

Patrick County Virginia

1 Response

Good afternoon,

There may be several reasons why a cherry tree has failed to leaf out, and we need to investigate a little closer to come up with an accurate conclusion.

I would first inspect the tree, looking closely at its bud development to see if the buds are still green inside, and if the branches and young shoots remain pliable and bend easily.

If the buds are dead and the shoots appear in poor health or "dried out"... I would suspect that something has occurred to damage the root/trunk system or that a potential insect or disease is interfering with water/nutrient uptake.

Carefully examine the trunk of the tree, as well as, dig gently down around its base -- near or against the trunk. We are looking for any gelatinous "goo" or frass that the tree might be exuding. If this is the case, I would suspect that borers have damaged your tree. While borers typically attack stressed trees, last season's "peach tree borer" and "lesser peach tree borer" may also attack cherry around their base while going sight unseen.

Be patient with the tree, and continue to monitor for the next 30 days paying close attention for bud break. If bud break occurs, fertilize the tree with a 10-10-10 or other lawn fertilizer to push for leaf development. Do not fertilize the tree beyond June 15th.

Please keep me posted with your progress or questions via my regular email at jmvest@vt.edu ...I will be happy to work through your investigative efforts and hopefully confirm our problem.

Happy gardening, JON