Several weeks ago I used Preen to weed my beds before mulching.
Unfortunately I used too much around my 3 year old flowering cherry
tree. Within a few weeks every leaf turned brown and dropped off.
Now it is August 1st in PA and my tree has no leaves. However, it
does have what appear to be small buds. The branches are healthy and
we've had lots of rain. Will this tree survive to next spring without
a single leaf? If not, is there a way to 'trigger' its buds to
Did the Preen do it or a fungus? My cherry dropped its leaves as did 2 of
neighbors trees across street.
I've seen this happen before. Figure very wet season conducive to fungus.
It will probably survive, but I intend to cut mine down since I don't like
finicky trees ;)
You need to look further than the Preen - Preen is a pre-emergent herbicide
with the active ingredient of trifluralin, which disprupts the germination
of seeds ONLY - it has no effect on existing plant material, large or small.
Even broad based nonspecific herbicides like glyphosate will have minimal
impact on an established tree unless sprayed directly onto the foliage or
applied in concentration to the root zone.
Flowering cherries and their botanical cousins are notorious for being
extremely problematic trees with a huge repetoire of insect and disease
susceptibility. In the eastern portion of the country that has experienced
an unnaturally wet spring and summer, I'd put my money on a fungal problem
of sort. If there are viable buds and the weather is conducive, the tree
should attempt to refoliate. But it may be best to have its problem
accurately diagnosed by a qualified arborist. You may be looking at a
problem which has far reaching consequences, but I'd be extremely dubious
that you can make a direct correlation to the use of a very common and
rather benign pre-emergent herbicide.
pam - gardengal
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