Hey, everyone. I live in SE NC and I bought a double grafted dwarf pink
double bloom cherry tree the first of May. Planted it in good drianing
soil( a little clay/sand on the top1-2" and good dark soil underneath) where
it got full sun in the AM & early PM and shade after 3pm (which the nursery
keeper stated was fine) and keeping it watered every day. All things going
good for a month (to the first of June) and then we had about a week of
rain, off and on, so I did not water it for 5 days, as there was rain at
least 2 hours everyday. Three days after the rain subsided and decided to
move northward, my trees' leaves started to "curl" not tip to stem, but side
to side and looked a little 'puney'. I had already started to watering it
again for two days. The NEXT day the leaves turned yellow, but not on the
tip of the branches, but near where the branches stemmed from the tree to
about half way down the branches. Again, the very next day the yellow leaves
started falling off. This is no exaggeration as it happened over a three day
pass that these events too place. The tree still has green leaves on the
end of the branches but is 'naked' from the trunk to the middle of the
branches where the greenery begins. Any suggestions? Too much water? Not
enough? Needs something extra? Thanks in advance for any advice.
Your description fits that of a tree that's been drowned in too much water,
which killed off many of the newest, fragile roots and made it difficult to
take up nutrients. When you first planted the tree it needed to be kept from
drying out completely, but once it was established, (by about June1) it
probably only needed about 3/4" of water 2-3 times a week. To help keep
moisture at an acceptable level, you also need about 2-3" of good mulch over
the rootball, but not touching the tree trunk.
As a check, with a small trowel or even a long screwdriver, poke around the
base of the tree. The surface may be dry, but you want to know about the
water level down at the root level. You'll probably find that the soil is
rather soggy, especially if your clay content is significant. Let the
underground rootball area dry out some, but not get completely dry (too dry
for mud pies, but more humid than a sandbox). Then give it about 3/4" of
water, either from rainfall or your irrigation system, wait for two days and
repeat. Good luck --
The last part of your statement is one of the best tidbits of advice I've
seen in this group, yet. Too many people just mulch right on up the bark of
a tree. After "topping" a tree, that's about the worst possible thing you
can do to one. Hopefully, someone will heed that advice. =)
And, mulching two feet out from a trunk does no good, really. If you're
going to mulch a tree, might as well go all the way out to the dripline.
Most people won't do that, though. They'd have no yard left, heh.
-I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotomy.
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