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Hyacinth Plant

Q.Weeping Cherry Tree Has Bark Damage and Leaves with Holes

Zone 1932" | cedwards8515 added on September 1, 2017 | Answered

Hello- we purchased our weeping cherry tree from Home Depot and planted it this past Spring (May 2017). We were diligent with watering it while it got established and planted it in good soil with a 2-3″ layer of mulch on top. It has grown a bit since we planted it (an inch or two upwards) and the branches have filled in nicely over the summer. About a month and a half ago I noticed the leaves had small holes in them, and there was a small hole with hardened sap around it in the middle of the trunk. We treated the tree with Bayer Advanced 12-Month Tree & Shrub Protect and Feed to exact specifications for the circumference of the trunk (7″ at the thickest part- toward the bottom). Now, a month and a half after the treatment, the leaves still have many holes, although they remain green, and there are even more holes in the middle of the trunk. There is also a bulge and a compressed spot where the holes are in the trunk and the branches appear to be shooting up for the “weeping” effect significantly more in the back than on the front of the tree. I do not see any insects on the leaves or around the trunk holes, but that doesn’t rule them out as being the root of the problem. What could be wrong with the tree and how do we fix what is happening? I have attached pictures below. Thank you for any and all help!

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Answered on September 2, 2017

Hi MichiganDot- thank you for your response! There have been no animals or human-related damages to the tree as we have a green mesh fence up around the tree that has been there since we planted it.

The gouges in the trunk are the "holes" I was referring to, not the lenticels. Maybe I should have made that more clear. When we first treated the tree with the Bayer Tree & Shrub Protect that I had mentioned, there was only one gouge. Now there are several as you can see. I have no idea where these gouges came from or how they formed. The wood is not spongy nor does it appear to be rotten. The tree has not been exposed to cold conditions yet as it was only planted in May and it is now September. It does get all day sun and while this summer has been a wet one in PA, we still water it every 2-3 weeks.

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Answered on September 1, 2017

There are leaf beetles which are very small and create holes in leaves of trees. My elm is always this way (elm leaf beetles) but it doesn't affect the health of the tree. The "holes" in the bark are called lenticels and are normal. Some tree species have more prominent lenticels and cherry is one of them. The gouge in the trunk is very worrisome. I'd take your pictures to Home Depot and ask for a refund. This may have started as damage from improper pruning at the nursery. Any chance an animal has been rubbing against it or gnawing on it? If you want to try and save it, have a professional arborist diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment. If the wood is spongy where the wounds are, it is a lost cause. So sorry.

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