Weeping Cherry Tree with photos: Disease or Insects?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by HenryB, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. HenryB

    HenryB LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,844

    The bottom trunk of this Cherry tree has its bark peeling off. Parts are oozing sap. Has anyone ever seen this or know what is causing it? And how to treat it? Any opinions?




  2. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,234

    either somebody damaged it with tools or a mower/bobcat or its frost crack from previous years healing up. judging by the lack of proper pruning it looks to be pretty neglected.
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,999

    Definitely not insects, although at sometime due to it's weakened state borers are likely to attack it. Frost cracks & physical damage are possibilities.
    However, this tree has been stressed since it was planted. Once a tree is stressed, all kinds of secondary problems can occur. Carefully remove mulch and soil around the trunk until you notice the root flair. http://www.mortonarb.org/deeptreeroots/land_established.html
    There is no telling if that particular tree will recover, but pesticides will not help it. I like to apply 1" of compost from the excavated area to the drip line.
  4. cudaclan

    cudaclan LawnSite Member
    from Zone 5
    Messages: 152

    I concur with phat. Pull back the soil at the trunks base. Observe for any root girdling. I will add that soil splashing against the trunk will promote bacterial gummosis. It will lead to cankers to develop. It appears to be healing (callus forming). It may be a weak graft (rootstock) at the base, which is common with weeping cherry. Remove the soil line, place good quality mulch, do not place next to trunk and place “chicken wire” around the trunk to prevent rodents gnawing. The use of copper sulfate will help control bacterial spread. Remove all branches, twigs and leaves that have fallen. They tend to overwinter and harbor the bacteria for next season.
  5. jlawnman

    jlawnman LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 171

    How much is this customer willing to spend on this sick tree? If I were the homeowner, I would saw it down and replace with a large crepe myrtle or a birch. Just my 2 cents
  6. keepcuttin

    keepcuttin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 62

    Thats canker.. happens alot on those ornamental trees. It bleeds a gooey amber colored sap from those splits which look like freeze splits..... good luck. eventually it will have to come down but when ? time will tell......
  7. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,999

    A native tree, properly planted, would be a better choice.
    If it must be a birch, plant Heritage River Birch.
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Henry, sorry to say, but, dead tree standing. Enjoy it while they can, but it's life has been severely shortened. All the information so far has been accurate. Likely planted too deep and improperly, possible vole damage and landscaper blight, string trimmer or mower scrapes. The cankers are trying to seal and heal, but the damage has been done.

    As for replacement, look at the site first. The cherry appears to be directly in front of the door, an absolute design faux pas. I am replacing two weeping cherries for a client this year because of so-called proper pruning techniques. These plants were manipulated so much that they have sprouted from the understock and that branching has taken over. The client may get one of the cherries replaced with the same, but I can assure you, no landscapers will be allowed to shear the new tree. The other cherry will be replaced with something more suited to the landscape and design.

    proper planting and protection can avoid a whole host of issues, it's much more than just digging a hole.

  9. openbook

    openbook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    I've got a crabapple tree in my back yard that had that problem at some point. I've lived here 7 years and the bark has not fully grown over the wound. The bark is thin and has some peeling. It also gets applescab if I don't spray it, last year I didn't spray and it was pretty bad. I guess it's not too hardy of a tree, but I like it.
  10. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 907

    Hey Kirk, you act like "landscapers" can't prune trees :laugh: I like when I get the "tree experts" who top, man what joke, and townships pay for this :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy:

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