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I've had a weeping cherry tree for about three years now. It was transplanted, and it was about 8 or 9 feet tall then. There were leaves on the tree, midsummer, I believe. She's done well ever since then except for the fact that every year up until this year she's bloomed about 5 blooms total each season. Last year she only bloomed 3 flowers. This year she's not bloomed at all, but she's putting out big beautiful leaves like always and growing like crazy. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
From what you say, your tree sounds pretty healthy if the leaves are plentiful. Possibly you have been too kind to it? Most flowering plants put out more flowers when there is a lack of nutrients in the soil. Cut down on the nitrogen fertiliser and use only potash and it should improve in a year or two. I have one in my garden - I never feed it at all and it flowers madly every year (this is its third spring and the buds are looking good again).
Also - Susan - your tree may need a boost to the roots - try mixing bone meal into the topsoil (deep enough for the cats not to dig it up as they will eat it!). Once the leaves are looking good change to the potash fertiliser - potash is great for flowers.
Good luck both.
Generally, nitrogen encourages leaf and shoot growth. So cut back on the nitrogen. Phosphorus enhances energy production, and greatly helps with flowers and fruit (high energy users), potash helps with overall health. So less nitrogen and more phosphorus (bone meal) and potash (wood ashes) should help a lot with flowering.
And to the people that have trees with no buds - either at home or at the nursery, cherry buds are quite visible, if there are no buds its dead. If it is at the nursery or Home Depot - don't buy it unless it has full visible buds.
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Hardiness Zone: 7a
Susan From New York
A: Hi Susan,
Here is what I know about cherry trees. Regardless of the variety, most of them prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Did either of these conditions change from the backyard to the front yard? Cherry trees are also easily damaged by planting them too deeply, or by allowing mulch to remain against the lower trunk.
In general, the older the tree (assuming it's a bare-root tree and not a tree from a container) the more susceptible it is to transplant shock because it usually requires severing a greater number of large roots. Cherry trees respond well to fertilizer. If you're sure your tree is still alive, I would suggest giving it a boost of tree fertilizer in March. Use one especially formulated for cherry trees and apply it around the drip line in the amount directed on the package.
Another thing to pay attention to is whether or not other flowering trees in your area are doing anything. If they are, then your tree either suffered some kind of stress when you moved it or the soil or light conditions are no longer supporting it. Just like people, older trees can need extra time to adapt to change. If it's still alive, there's a good chance it will come back.
Your tree is probably suffering from transplant shock. It may take 1-3 years to recover and return to normal blooming. Is the sun/shade exposure differnt than the original location? Is the soil wetter or drier than the original location? Both of these can affect the tree's recover and ultimately its survival. (02/27/2006)