have a 12-year-old weeping cherry and it's been great until last
season when the leaves all dried up and got big brown spots on them.
I thought the tree was dying but the wood was still green. It didn't
shed its leaves normally and even now a few dried leaves are still
clinging on. I'm of the opinion that the leaves got some kind of
disease as the buds are pushing their way through. Could you please
advise as to what kind of spray I could use when the tree blossoms
and the new leaves (if any) come on the tree again?
does sound like your poor weeping cherry tree has had a disease,
probably a fungus. Fungal diseases often attack when a tree
is stressed too little or too much water, disturbance of the roots,
lack of nutrients in the soil. There are a number of things
you could (and should) do.
First of all, remove
any material from your tree which could be harbouring fungal spores.
Any dead leaves or twigs should be carefully and cleanly removed
and burned. Prune off any branches which appear to be diseased
or damaged. Pick up and destroy any twigs or leaves from under
the tree, and remove any weeds.
To try to prevent future
attacks, you should spray with an appropriate fungicide. Look
for a spray which targets fungal diseases on ornamentals, specifically
one which refers to stonefruit. Be cautious about copper sprays
as they are known to damage the leaves of some stonefruit.
Finally, try to make
sure your weeping cherry is as healthy and stress-free as possible.
Keep the tree well-watered in summer, mulch (but not up against
the truck) and feed with a slow-release fertiliser. When pruning,
try to prevent branches rubbing against each other, and thin branches
when they get to overcrowded. Good luck.
by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor
of Resource Management.
with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous
The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH