Q: We relocated a 10-12 ft weeping cherry tree about a month or so ago. It did have buds when it was moved, and they did bloom, but they weren't covering every branch. Now, it has leaves, but they are TINY and also not around every branch. I did edge and mulch around the tree recently, thinking it would help to keep moisture in. The tree recieves full sun, and the soil is well drained. Is my tree dying?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
Rebecca Knepp from Limerick, PA
It sounds to me like your tree is suffering from a good case of transplant shock, especially if you moved it while the buds were developing. All you can really do now is take a wait-and-see approach, keep it on a regular schedule of watering (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches once a week at a slow trickle), and cross your finger it recovers. Don't fertilize it. At this point fertilizing can cause it more harm than good. Hopefully you didn't fertilize it when you transplanted it. I made this mistake once with a sugar maple I planted. I mixed in too much compost and manure when back-filling the hole I planted it in and I ended up burning a lot of the roots. I didn't see how extensively the roots had been damaged until the following spring when half of the tree failed to leaf out and the other half sprouted tiny little leaves. It was a $250.00 tree, and fortunately for me, it recovered. It's early in the summer and your tree has plenty of time to recover and establish itself. It will probably send out new leaves before too long. The true test, I'm afraid, won't come until next spring.
Sounds like your tree went into shock which is not uncommon. The thing is I don't think you should have moved it when there were buds on it. Same way with pruning--not after it starts to bud. We moved about 60---13 year old pine trees several years ago and my husband took extra special care of them. He got a root feeder at the hardware which really didn't cost all that much. You put these large fertilizer pellets in it and hook it to your hose. Putting the root feeder in the ground where you think the roots are ending under the ground. It really helped ours but we did the transplanting in October. The fall is the best time of year to do any transplanting of bushes, trees, and bulb plants. Be careful to follow the instructions for the root feeding so you don't over-fertilize. I sure hope your tree makes it as they are a beautiful addition to any landscape. Good luck. (06/11/2006)
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