have noticed lots of shoots coming up around our weeping cherry.
What are they? Lots of odd seedlings have been popping up around
our place since we mulched last winter with wood chips left by the
arborists when they chopped an old tree down.
cherries are propagated by grafting the weeping part on to an upright
growing rootstock. The shoots in your photo are growing from the
root system of the rootstock. Suckering like this is often caused
by damage to the roots, for example by digging or hoeing, or sometimes
by poor drainage killing off root tips.
You should remove the
suckers by pulling them out of the ground so they tear away from
the roots. Don't prune them off at ground level or they'll simply
your photo, the suckers' foliage looks quite yellow, suggesting
a lack of nutrients, probably caused by the wood-chip mulch. Wood
chips can cause temporary lack of nitrogen in the soil for several
months following their application, as the micro-organisms which
break down cellulose in wood use nitrogen from the soil as their
After you remove the
suckers give the area a dressing of a nitrogen-rich general garden
fertiliser to give your cherry tree a boost. And check for poor
drainage - you may have to do something to reduce the risk of waterlogging
Gardener, Issue 137, 2003, Page 27
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.