My Kwanzan Cherries look so sad!

Hello, I'm currently trying to revive my pathetic looking Kwanzan Cherries. I bought eight 20 foot tall trees last year. They were balled and burlaped. They looked OK at first, but when we planted them, gradually, many branches began dying off on almost all of them. One of the trees gave up last August in the heat and just died. This year, a few sparse branches are blooming on each and one just has shoots that are flowering. I've fertilized the soil prior to planting and every 3-4 months with a long term fertilizer for flowering trees. I've pruned the trees this year following instructions from a pruning book for flowering trees. What can I do outside of regular watering and fertilizing to keep the rest of these trees from dying. I'd like for them to look like thick blooming cherries next year?
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where are you located? what conditions of soil, watering, sun exposure do you have? I have never heard of fertilizing before planting.. just some phosphate for the roots. and certainly not fertilizing every 3-4 months.

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I meant that I put Vigoro fertilizer granules in the soil prior to planting and continue using that compound to re-fertilize. The bag says it lasts 3 months. My husband just got spikes but I haven't put them in yet. Located in NJ zone 6-7. The trees are in full sun lining our driveway. The soil is rather clay-like but we bought screened topsoil and enriched it when planting. Initially, watering was 1-2 times a week (including rainfall) for the first month or so.
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where did you get the trees from? If local I would contact them. I think you are over fertilizing the plants. sorry dont think I can really be very helpful long distance. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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On 24 Apr 2006 18:55:46 -0700

Just guessing, but these are very large trees (20 feet!) and will need a lot of water until established. If you stopped watering after a month, they're probably dying of thirst. Try 200 litres per tree every 15 days. Don't fertilize any more until the survivors are clear, you'll probably lose some. The good news is they're fairly easy trees.
HTH
-E
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Emery Davis
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Hi,
To me it sounds like a combination of things that caused the current condition of your trees.
B&B trees go through quite a bit of stress to begin with. Even with a good tree spade there is no way the grower can get a majority of the root system. So, the root system is compromised to start off. Now, if you planted these trees in warm or hot weather this will cause further stress. Best time to plant in most locales is early spring after last frost or early fall before snow or frost.
Too little water in the beginning of the planting. The trees probably needed more frequent waterings during the first week or two. A once or twice a week deep watering was not enough. Remember that the roots are shallow at the moment until they grow and spread. The top layer of soil dries out quicker as water is pulled down deeper in the soil by gravity. I'll bet that with only a once or twice a week watering the compromised root system dried out.
Mixing in any kind of fertilizer in the planting hole, especially a high nitrogen synthetic fert. like Vigoro, was a HUGE mistake. This should never have been done. The last thing that a stressed plant needs is nitrogen. The high nitrogen coupled with the salts in the Vigoro fertilizer most likely burned the roots, causing the roots to die back instead of grow...the opposite of what would've been ideal. Either no fertilizer or a LITTLE 0-5-5 or 0-10-10 with some kelp extract would've been better.
Hope this helps,
Layne

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