Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cherry Tree problem

Sasha, a visitor who has a really good craft blog, has left a question: we have a cherry tree at the bottom of our patio. We didn't plant it, it grew from a seedling to a twenty foot tree in just  six years!! Anyhow, in May this year all the lower leaves shrivelled up and dropped off!! Do you think it could be diseased?

Your cherry tree could be suffering from a couple of things, Sasha: the worst is a fungal disease called wilt, and there's nothing you can do about it except wait and see if it spreads and kills the whole tree. However, wilt usually occurs later in the year and another possibility is that the roots have been damaged. Cherry roots tend to be near the surface and often get caught by mower blades, or  spades if you dig in the locality.

Another thing that struck me is that you said 'it is at the bottom of the patio' - does it have enough room for the roots to spread? If it is very confined, there is a chance that this is causing problems. If you think the roots are suffering, try a little t.l.c. : a two inch dressing of well-rotted compost in a radius of about five feet all round the tree, supplemented with a sprinkling of blood, fish and bone in spring.

Finally, very dry conditions (not likely last summer), or overly wet soil can be a problem. It's not in a boggy area is it?

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask further about this or any other gardening questions.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my question, John.
    The tree must have grown from a seedling dropped by a bird in a two foot gap between the end of our flagged patio and boundary fence. So it is not in an ideal position. The trunk is pressing against the flags and the roots will most probably go beneath our patio. It is also surrounded by lots of other trees...hawthorn, holly, lilac and laylandi. Most of which belong to our neighbour. It must have thrived previously, as it grew really quickly.
    We will have to see what happens next spring. We may have to cut t down.
    We did notice that our neighbour across the road from us, (who also had the same tree), had the same problem. They cut their tree down and burned it.
    Thanks again! Sasha:)