Cherry tree keeps dying

Asked May 16, 2020, 11:14 AM EDT

I've planted two Lapins cherry trees in the same spot in the last two years, and both have died, but I can't figure out why. I've attached photos of the roots that I've pulled out of the ground. It looks like they never even grew. I'm concerned that this may be root or collar rot, but I can't be sure. My soil is a bit alkaline, so I mixed some elemental sulfur into the soil this time. I've planted a stella tree this time. I have a Rainier cherry and several apple trees that seem to be growing alright. Any advice so I don't lose this one?

Wayne County Michigan

1 Response

Trees are a long term investment and as such, proper planting should always begin with a soil test. There is no other way to determine soil properties accurately. Because the first tree died, a soil test would have been even more important the second time around, which would have flagged any soil issues, but it is still not too late to do so. Read more in the next two links:

There is considerable detail to planting correctly as well, correct depth and not too wet soil for starters. Read more here:

Obviously, your's experienced no root growth and if balled and burlapped, any cage materials or restrictive root coverings should be removed from the roots as well.

Good luck!