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Happylady221
08-15-2007, 08:00 PM
I planted a weeping cherry tree 2 yrs ago and it is now dying. I took out some worms and webs from the brances, but now there are more. Also the leaves are curling in and feel dry. It gets enough water and is planted in the sun. What is wrong, and what do I do to save the tree. It was a gift in my mother's honor when she died.

Newt*
08-16-2007, 07:14 PM
Hi Happylady,

These trees are prone to problems with pests, especially in dry soil. I'm thinking your tree may have more then one pest. I'm wondering when you saw the caterpillars and the webs. Was this in the spring? If so you probably had tent caterpillars. Is this what you saw?
http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef423.asp

If the leaves are curling it could be from drought stress, aphids or scales. Any sticky sap dripping from the tree? Do you see ants or bees visiting? Both aphids and scales come in different colors. Here's a sample of what they look like.

Scales:
http://woodypest.ifas.ufl.edu/scales.htm

Aphids:
http://woodypest.ifas.ufl.edu/aphids.htm

Let me know and we can work on an organic method to help your tree.

Newt

Happylady221
08-17-2007, 12:02 AM
I read the sites you sent; thank you. I didn't notice the webs in the spring but I didn't look either. They are there now and the caterpillar is very small and kind of whitish. I don't see any of the other things you mentioned. What should I use to help my tree? As far as drought goes... I thought we were getting enough rain because the rest of my yard is green with the exception of one section which is dying but it's not near the cherry tree.

Newt*
08-17-2007, 11:29 AM
Without pictures it would be difficult to say exactly what you have. Spider mites come to mind with the webs. They are very tiny. Put a piece of white paper under the webs and tap the branch. If you see tiny dots that move on the paper you have spider mites.

Here's what I would do. I would spray the tree with a mixture of insecticidal soap and isopropyl alcohol. You could use just insecticidal soap, but it will be more effective with the alcohol added. Test a couple of leaves first with the alcohol added to be sure the tree can tolerate it. This chart shows what you should use for different insect pests. Both caterpillars and spider mites can be taken care of with this combo spray. Use alcohol at a rate of 8 ounces to 1 quart of dilute mixture. When using test a small portion of plant first to see if it is sensitive to alcohol. DO NOT use alcohol sprays on apple trees.
http://www.ghorganics.com/Page44.html

You can make your own insecticidal soap if you like.
http://www.care2.com/greenliving/homemade-insecticidal-soap.html

Then I would check to see that the tree isn't planted too deep or mulch isn't piled against the trunk. Often signs of stress will begin to show after a year or two if it's planted too deep. Check to see the rootflare. These sites will help yo along with that. The first one is to review how to plant a tree so you can check to see that it was properly done.
http://www.ext.nodak.edu/extpubs/plantsci/trees/f1147w.htm
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/woody/rootgrowthset.html
http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/mulching.aspx

I know you said, "It gets enough water...", but that is subjective. Since this is such a young tree it may need more then it's getting or the rootball may have been rootbound when you planted it and it can't take up enough water in the center of the ball. Take a look here.
http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/water/az1298/
http://www.watersaver.org/pdfs/FALL_CARING_FOR_TREES.pdf

Newt