Weeping cherry tree flowerless

Asked May 18, 2017, 3:28 PM EDT

I have a weeping cherry tree about 12-15 yes old. It only has flowered on the bottom 10-12 inches the past 3 years. Thinking about cutting it way back. High off the ground. Do you think that would help it return to full bloom? Thank you for any info you can give. Julia.

Washington County Maryland trees and shrubs trees

3 Responses

Thank you for your question, Julia. Have you seen flower buds form on your tree? Is it leafed out on the top? One possibility might be cold injury from the late cold weather we had when many cherries were coming into bloom this year. Our plant pathologist thinks another possibility for this failure to bloom might be a flaw in the cultivar. The weeping cherry trees are produced by grafting, and sometimes grafts produce a weaker plant. It is possible it is a weak variety or a flaw in the cultivar. We would not recommend cutting it way back, though, as you likely will lose the characteristic "weeping" shape of the tree. New branches will grow in straighter. You could do a light thinning-- take out any crossing or crowded branches and any dead branches. You many also want to apply a 2" layer of compost around the base of the tree to add nutrients. Then it's a matter of waiting and seeing if it does better next year.

CKC

The WEEPING CHERRY TREE, as I stated is 12-15 years old. Bloomed beautifully up to 3 years ago. No buds on it except on the lower 12 inches or so, near the ground and they all opened. It is very heavy in leaves, very full. No cold weather affected it. I previously did the thinning you suggested and took out crossing branches. I see many people cut these trees up pretty high, thats why I thought that might work, giving it new branches to flower next year. Could too much water affect it? It is near a downspout, so it gets lots of rain from that.

Thank you for the photo. The tree actually looks nice and healthy! We do not think too much water could be the issue. Do you fertilize the tree? Or nearby lawn? Too much nitrogen fertilizer can cause a lot of green leafy growth at expense of flowers. Woody ornamentals do not have a habit of perfect bloom every year. You could try pruning it up several inches from the bottom, staggering the cuts at different lengths rather than pruning straight across, and see if that stimulates better flowering next season. Also, we see you have mulch under the tree; be sure to keep it away from the trunk of the plant, to avoid any chances of rotting or borers.

CKC