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My husband and I are moving into a new home. In the front of the house, there is what appears to be a weeping cherry tree. I think the limbs have been trimmed too much (to the trunk) and it basically looks like there is a trunk in the ground. The tree looks like it is pretty mature. I would say it is about 20 or so inches around the trunk. I would love to save it. Any suggestions?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By JessicaRae from Wheelersburg, OH
The tree has been pollarded. My neighbor does this with her mulberry every year, and it comes right back. By now, you may well have a full, pretty tree out front. My dad hates to prune, and his mulberry is probably 50 feet tall and across, or more.
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Hardiness Zone: 7a
Marilyn from Sand Springs, OK
I don't want to be discouraging, but the chances of your cherry tree recovering from such severe trauma are slim to none. Many times after storms trees are left leaning in their planting holes. They rarely survive as the root damage is just too great. Since you put your tree in a bucket of water, I'm going to assume that is was completely ripped out of the ground. If it had only been leaning, at least you could have tried to pull it back into place vertically. Having only "some" roots left does not sound good either.
The fact that your tree is young increases its chance for survival-however remote that is. You can try replanting it, just make sure you stake the tree while its roots are recovering in order to prevent it from blowing over again.
If your tree was doing well before the storm, I would not advise amending the soil in any way when replanting. The tree has already suffered the severest of traumas (being uprooted), the addition of fertilizer or soil amendments now will only add more stress. Fertilizer is an especially bad idea, because it promotes rapid growth that a compromised roots system is probably not going to be able to support.
Watch water levels closely after replanting. Make sure it receives 1/2 to 1" of water a week, but avoid over watering.
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Hi. If you can get some Super Thrive at a hardware store, nursery etc., our Walmart even carries it, follow the directions and it should work miracles. It has for our weeping willow that was damaged in a terrible storm we had here in December. Good luck. :) (06/13/2008)
You certainly have nothing to lose by replanting it and hoping for the best. I would check with your nursery for fertilizer suggestions so the roots will regenerate quickly and settle in before fall. (06/14/2008)
When you replant, don't amend the soil. Fertilizer is okay, but amending the soil will prevent the roots from spreading out. When you amend the soil, the tree roots don't grow out and away from the trunk in search of nutrients, and as a result, make it more unstable in windy conditions. A tree should be able to grow just fine in whatever kind of dirt you have. If not, then it's not worth trying to make it grow there. Good luck! (06/15/2008)
By Beth - MA