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(mature) weeping cherry stopped growing!

Discussion in 'Nurseries and Growers' started by Marcos, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    Does anyone have any experience with any older pink weeping cherrys (15 years +) suddenly stopping in any sign of foliage growth?
    The problem began this past spring, after I had used systemic Merit for a suspected influx of borers I had detected at the base of the tree the prior fall. Once I had used the Merit, had done my yearly deadwooding and pruning out of the watersprouts that go through the middle, and had fertilized (as I always do every year), the thing literally stopped growth in it's tracks, and I mean, for the remainder of the whole growing season!
    Now, I know S. Ohio had a big drought this year. Before this week, we were still easily afoot of rain down year-to-date.(I'm a green industry person too) So, I was sure to compensate for that by using plenty of irrigation.
    And when I approached Bayer on their website with the (subtle but firm) thought that there may be an outside possibility that Merit could stunt certain plant types- I got a very cold shoulder!
    Any ideas from you? :confused:
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Hey Marcos try these guys they are very reliable, Peter Wilde who started the company is an freaking genuis with trees.
  3. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    Weeping higans may have the graft incompatibility right at the trunk to head junction...no water flow, no leaves.
    Gummosis is an indicator of a few things...did you see emergence holes where the sap was oozing. If not check for canker from girdling roots or other stresses.
  4. OP

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    I wanted to resurrect this thread...
    and bring up to the lawnsite crowd another theory that was proposed on an arborist's forum I'd been discussing this on, to get some different perspectives:

    One thought that's been brought up is that there could be a poor allelopathic relationship going on between the cherry's roots, and the dense fescue / bluegrass root structure occupying much of the same soil zone.
    And, in effect, the turf roots could be releasing toxins that would be damaging to the cherry tree

    Anyone else have any experience with this?

    This weeping cherry isn't planted in the typical landscape bed scenario that you'd normally see them in.
    It actually is a lawn specimen, with a thick mix of t.t.t. fescue and bluegrass surrounding the tree, and coming up to within about 6" of the trunk.

    And, yes, when we moved in here in the winter of 2000 and we settled in the yard the next spring, I almost immediately thought about a mulch bed scenario to include this tree. But the consensus was that it is in too close quarters with general family-time play activities in the back yard for us to sacrifice the turf underneath it.
    Plus, about 1/4 of the drip line spills into the neighbor's grass, anyway.

    But despite the close competition between turf and this tree, I really don't think water has been the issue at all; there's never been one sign of summer flagging, nor any early fall leaf drop.
    When I've had to water it in drier periods, I've soaked it with a pulsating sprinkler, on low pressure, for often 3 to 4 hours at a time; making sure that I accomplish a very deep watering.
    Then I'll leave it alone for maybe 2-3 weeks or whatever...until and if it finally rains thoroughly enough.

    The soil in that area of the yard is virgin topsoil; never disturbed at all when our long, ranch house was built on a slab in 1987.
    (vs. the mucky clay in the front yard...yuuuck!)

    Maybe 3 or 4 years ago I've did my own crude verticle mulching on this tree, and all around the yard on the other trees, with a 2" coring tube (similar to what you plant bulbs with, only with a heavy steel handle), some wheelbarrows full of pea gravel and organic fertilizer mixed with it.
    That's when I could tell, especially,that the soil around the cherry was really nice topsoil.

    I'm planning on doing a mycorrhizal 'feeding' on this tree come early March or so.
    I think doing this will help to 're-teach' the tree's root system to 'bridge' nutrients back to the trees more efficiently.

    It shouldn't need food...it got a two-year ureaformyldehyde feeding (Arbor Green) last spring.

    Any other ideas?

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