nanking cherry bush

Asked June 7, 2017, 10:50 PM EDT

We have two nanking cherry bushes that are about 5 years old. They have both produced well for the past 3 years. This year when they flowered only the branches close to the ground had flowers. This is the first year this has happened. Now both bushes look healthy but the leaves have a more yellow color. What do we need to do?

Kittson County Minnesota

1 Response

Other than the reduced yield and the yellowing leaves, I'm assuming you've not seen anything further amiss, such as premature leaf drop, leaves curling or browning, oozing from the trunk or branches, insect webbing, and so on.

If that's the case, my guess is this is a one-off winter dieback. Even tough shrubs like Nanking cherry can be hit by late frosts or freezes. The blossom buds are especially susceptible. Read here about winter dieback:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/

The yellow leaves may be related, or may not. If the yellowing is serious, you might want to get a soil test. While Nanking cherry is widely adaptable, a very high pH could be a problem. Here is the Soil Testing Lab site:
http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/testing-services/lawn-garden