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Cherry Trees

Q.Cherry Tree Lower Branches Not Developing Leaves.

Zone Rugeley, Staffordshire | co1inovertonfox added on April 23, 2024 | Answered

We moved into a new-build 5 years ago and I am concerned that a Prunus Rosea cherry tree, which was included with the landscaping of the house, may, for no apparent reason, be exhibiting a ‘die-back’ and I am worried it might spread to the other trees and shrubs. Every year, for the past 5 years, the Prunus Rosea has delighted us in early Spring (Jan-Feb) with a display of pink blossom, and this year was no exception! However, this year, following the blossom, only the upper branches developed leaves (and are looking healthy), but the lower branches have hardly any leaves on them and do not look ‘right’. (See attached photo) Could you advise what may be the possible cause, and, more importantly, do I need to worry that the ‘die back’ will likely spread to the other trees? Thank you for any guidance you can provide. Kind regards Gillian

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 23, 2024

It is hard to tell from the photo, alone. Ultimately, there are a number of causes. Fortunately, you can test for some of them. First, test the nutrient levels of the soil. If the tree isn't fed at least once per year, then it might be time to do so. If these levels are good, then you can move on to testing pH. Many times, these tests are available to test at the same time. As long as the soil is never allowed to dry out to drought levels, watering should not be necessary. However, a wet year could suffocate roots, or cause disease. If all test show good results, then it may be time to consult a local horticulturalist to test for chemical contamination. Unfortunately, you won't be able to tell if it is able to spread unless it is tested for or the other trees start showing symptoms.




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