Update on Our Weeping Cherry Trees

It finally happened, we lost both our beloved cherry trees.

Losing Our Cherry Trees

Always sad to see death of any kind including plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees. Our cherry tree saga started back in 2019. Did improper pruning eventually lead to the death of our trees? Or was there another reason? We have had plenty of rain so I don’t think it was a drought issue.

I learned a big lesson about cherry trees that I discuss in Learning the Hard Way – How to Care for a Weeping Cherry Tree. Along with pruning at the wrong time of year, the branches were improperly cut. Could that have allowed disease to more easily attack the trees?

The year after our trees were improperly pruned by cutting the “weeping” branches, the above picture shows the hybrid look of the tree when it bloomed. Only a small section was left that actually weeped.

In Why a Weeping Cherry Tree No Longer Weeps or Only Partially Weeps, I further discuss the issues we encountered.

We lost one of the trees after the incident and slowly the second one has been dying as well. Last year, it barely bloomed and this year not one single leaf appeared on the tree.

Did Disease Attack the Cherry Tree?

My guess is that the cherry tree caught a bacterial canker. It may have started on the branches and spread to the main trunk. Once it has spread this far, the tree must be cut down. If I had caught the disease early on, and was able to cut it off the branches, perhaps the tree could have been saved.

Staring at a dead tree is no pretty site. The tree was cut down and disposed of. Since the disease could possibly still be living in the earth, cutting the stump out is the best way to avoid future problems since we plan to plant other trees in its place.

How to Avoid Diseases on Cherry Trees

The biggest tip I have to avoid disease – is to inspect all your trees at least once a year. Look for signs of disease on the trunk and leaves. Call in an arborist for professional advice if needed. As with anything, catching problems early on is the best chance we have to treat them. Waiting too long is never a good idea and sadly I was not vigilant enough with the care of our trees. Big lesson learned.

Now What to Plant in Its Place?

On a brighter note, the yard looks so much nicer now that the dead tree is gone. We can clearly see the white and pink crepe myrtles in the distance that are beginning to bloom.

Do you have any suggestions as to the type of trees we should plant to replace the cherry trees? Should we plant more fruit trees? What do you think? Drop me a line!



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2 thoughts on “Update on Our Weeping Cherry Trees

  1. I started some weeping cherries from twigs. They were 1/4 to 1/8 in diameter. Now they aare like a jungle, taking over and I am going to have to do some shaping. Of course they aren’t grafted but they have thrived on neglect. Perhaps they will die if I prune and shape them but we will see. You might try that, finding some viable weeping cherry cuttings and see if you can do the same. Maybe you can get your trees back and have a sense of satisfaction from starting them as cuttings.

    1. Hi Virginia, that’s a great idea. And I believe you are right, I’m pretty sure ours were not pruned before and started getting damaged after the pruning. I’m so glad yours are thriving. If you do prune, I suggest only trimming the branches that touch the ground, and if they are not touching the ground I would leave it alone!

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