Cherry Trees
Q.

saplings growing around dead Cherry tree

Zone Zone 5 - Vinton, Iowa 52349 | Anonymous added on April 22, 2016 | Answered

What to do with saplings growing around dead Cherry tree? We planted a Cherry tree in the fall 2 years ago. It is about 5 1/2 feet tall and is about 2 inches diameter at the base. About an inch diameter closer to the top. That first spring, we had some late frost and I thought the tree might not have made it. It never bloomed that year. I did not remove it though and let it go through this last winter in hopes it might still be alive. It did not get buds this year; however, around the base I now have 6 little branches coming up. Should I leave all the branches or only one? Also, should I cut the tree down to the base? The tree itself does not have any buds on it. The new branches have little leaves on them and look very healthy.

A.
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Downtoearthdigs
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on April 24, 2016

Does your 5 1/2 foot cherry tree have leaves on it? I wasn't able to determine if you were talking about no leaf buds, no fruit buds or both.

Below is a link with information on non-bearing cherry trees. Cherry trees will fruit when they become old enough to blossom freely. Given that your tree is only two years old it is probably not old enough to have the expectation of blossoming or fruiting just yet.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/cherry/cherry-tree-not-fruiting.htm

Try doing a scratch test on the trunk to see if the tree is really dead or just dormant – If you scratch the bark with your fingernail or a knife and you see green underneath the bark, then the tree is dormant. If you see brown underneath the bark, then the tree is dead.

Given that you have suckers growing under the tree I suspect your cherry tree might still be alive. Suckers at the base of the tree should be cut back because they sap energy away from your tree.

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