Sandcherry
Q.

Sand Cherry Shrub only has leaves on one side….

Zone Saskatchewan, Canada | Anonymous added on August 3, 2019 | Answered

I have had this Sand Cherry shrub for 4 years, the second year it looked great. Last year it had lots of leaves but did not blossom..This year just part of the tree has leaves. Don't know what to do...does not seem to be diseased, but last winter it was very cold and windy...Could it have some winter kill??

A.
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MichiganDot
Answered on August 3, 2019

I found some helpful information and have provided a link to the article. Several issues come to mind regarding your sand cherry. Surviving winter in a container without special protection is an issue. Plants in containers are not as winter hardy as those in the ground but steps can be taken to protect them such as putting them in an unheated garage or wrapping them in burlap so they are out of the wind. Another option is to heap a bunch of snow around the container and over the plant base. This too protects from wind and offers some degree of insulation from extreme cold. Making a plant igloo sounds like a fun project for the kids and grandkids. One important step is to water the plant in fall. Even after leaf drop, water is necessary although no where near as much as during the growing season. Another issue is the length of time your tree has been in the container. Potting mix is important to use in containers instead of garden soil. But it deteriorates and at the same time roots grow. After 3 years or so you end up with a container full of roots and little else. Is it time to repot your cherry? If you do so, examine the root ball for encircling roots. The roots that absorb nutrients and water are small feeder roots. Large roots are for anchoring the plant in the ground so it doesn't blow over. If there are many large roots, prune some back; new feeder roots will grow. If there are medium sized roots circling the container, prune these back. A regular fertilizer program is important but not late in the growing season. The tree needs to switch from growth to developing winter hardiness. This transition takes about 6 weeks and is helped if fall weather has normal temps. If Nov temps are warm, it delays/hinders the plant's preparation for winter which might result in winter die back, especially if early winter is colder than normal. To be on the safe side, you may want to try your hand at starting a new tree from cuttings. I've attached links to articles on propagating sand cherry and growing trees/shrubs from root cuttings.

https://www.gardeningblog.net/how-to-grow/sand-cherries/
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/sand-cherry/propagating-sand-cherry-trees.htm
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/how-to-root-cuttings-from-various-shrubs-bushes-and-trees.htm

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