Cherry Tree Not Weeping: Help, My Cherry Tree No Longer Weeps


By: Jackie Carroll

A graceful weeping cherry tree is an asset to any landscape, but without special care, it may stop weeping. Find out the reasons for a weeping tree growing straight and what to do when a cherry tree is not weeping in this article.

My Cherry Tree No Longer Weeps

Weeping cherry trees are mutations with beautiful weeping branches, but an ugly, twisted trunk. Standard cherry trees have strong, straight trunks but their canopy isn’t as attractive as a weeping canopy. To solve this problem, horticulturalists graft a weeping canopy onto a non-weeping trunk, giving the grafted tree the advantages of both types of trees. Some weeping cherries are the result of three trees. A straight trunk is grafted onto sturdy roots, and the weeping canopy is grafted on top of the trunk.

When a cherry tree stops weeping, it is sprouting stems and branches, called suckers from below the graft union. You can find this point on the tree by looking for the scar that results from the graft. There may also be a difference in the color and texture of the bark on the two parts of the tree. Straight trees are sturdier and more vigorous than the weeping mutations, so the suckers will take over the tree if allowed to grow.

Sometimes improper pruning can lead to a cherry tree not weeping. This article will help with that: Pruning Weeping Cherry Trees

How to Fix a Non-Weeping Cherry Tree

Remove suckers as soon as they appear to keep them from taking over the tree. You can sometimes pull off root suckers. Pulling it off is more effective than cutting because the sucker is less likely to regrow. You’ll have to cut large suckers off of the trunk and roots. If you keep the suckers under control, your tree will continue to weep.

If you have a weeping canopy with only a few straight branches, you can remove the straight branches. Cut them off at their source, leaving a stub no more than half an inch (1 cm.) long. The branch or stem is likely to grow back if you shorten it rather than completely removing it.

Once an entire weeping cherry tree is growing straight, there isn’t much you can do about it. Your choice is between removing the non-weeping cherry and replacing it with a new weeping tree or enjoying the tree as it is.

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How to Grow Weeping Willow Trees in Minnesota

Weeping willow trees (Salix spp.) produce long branches covered with pale-green foliage. Their graceful weeping form adds elegance to any landscape. While these trees commonly grow along riverbanks or ponds, they tolerate drier soils, too. Minnesota's climate falls into hardiness zones 2 to 4 and is the northernmost limit of the weeping willow's range. These trees will grow well throughout Minnesota if given adequate water, fertilizer and care. Purchase container weeping willow trees in the spring just before you plan to plant them.

  • Weeping willow trees (Salix spp.)
  • These trees will grow well throughout Minnesota if given adequate water, fertilizer and care.

Plant the weeping willow tree in full or partial sun and where there is enough room to accommodate the mature tree's height, which can reach 70 feet. Plant in sandy, loamy or clay soils that drain well. The weeping willow will tolerate a wide range of soil pH levels.

Dig a hole for your weeping willow that is twice the width of the sapling's rootball and just as deep as the rootball. Remove rocks, roots and weeds from the hole. Jab a shovel at the bottom of the hole to roughen the soil to help the tree's roots adapt.

Pull the weeping willow sapling from its container and break apart the rootball using your fingers. Unwind tangled and circled roots, since trees planted with circled roots can choke and die.

  • Plant the weeping willow tree in full or partial sun and where there is enough room to accommodate the mature tree's height, which can reach 70 feet.
  • Pull the weeping willow sapling from its container and break apart the rootball using your fingers.

Place the weeping willow in the hole so that the trunk is straight and the tree sits at the same depth as it did in the container. Backfill the hole with soil.

Saturate the ground with water until the soil around the tree compresses.

Lay a 3- to 6-inch layer of mulch on the ground to help the soil retain moisture.

Give the tree 1 inch of water per week.

Prune the weeping willow annually in the late spring when frost danger passes, using lopping shears. Remove branches that don't take on the weeping form, cut back the tips of long branches that drag on the ground and thin out the canopy to promote air circulation. Remove dead or damaged branches and those that crisscross other branches. Weeping willow trees won't need much pruning for the first couple years.

  • Place the weeping willow in the hole so that the trunk is straight and the tree sits at the same depth as it did in the container.
  • Remove branches that don't take on the weeping form, cut back the tips of long branches that drag on the ground and thin out the canopy to promote air circulation.

Fertilize the weeping willow each year in late spring with 1/4 lb. of 13-13-13 fertilizer for a young weeping willow with a 4-foot canopy. Scatter the fertilizer on the ground around the tree. Add water to work the fertilizer into the soil. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for the amount of fertilizer as the tree grows.


How to Grow Weeping Crabapple Trees

Growing a weeping crabapple is easy enough for beginning landscapers and beautiful enough to make a worthy addition to any yard or garden. These trees are hardy enough to produce blooms even in cold weather climates that other flowering trees—like magnolia and dogwood—wouldn’t survive.

They grow up to 6 inches annually, and depending on the variety, reach a height of about 15 feet. Each spring, you’ll enjoy the fleeting flowering stage, followed by lush green foliage all summer long. In the fall, the trees produce crabapples—which are apples that measure than less than 2 inches in diameter. Weeping crabapple trees typically only produce fruit 1/2-inch or less in diameter. Even still, you’ll enjoy watching this tree through the seasons.

Weeping crabapples require only basic care and attention. They’re fairly drought-resistant once established, and often don’t need any additional watering unless drought persists. The weeping canopy of the tree generally doesn’t need pruning, unless you have a specific shape in mind. If so, prune outside of the growing season to avoid damaging the tree or reducing its resistance to disease. Common diseases include scab (a leaf spot disease caused by fungus) and fire-blight (which kills blossoms and branches and is caused by bacteria).

Keep in mind that fruit-producing trees will drop crabapples in the fall and early winter. The decaying flesh of the fruit may stain driveways, sidewalks, and patios, so keep this in mind when choosing where to plant your weeping crabapple. Additionally, the small, sour fruit is not in itself toxic, but can cause digestive upset to children or animals that indulge in one too many crabapples.


Frequently Asked Questions

How fast do they grow?

They grow about 1-2 feet per year.

How big do they get?

They can reach a maximum height of 30 feet.

When should they be pruned?

If the reason for pruning is dead or diseased branches, they should be pruned as soon as you discover them. However, if you are trimming to achieve or maintain a certain size, prune in late spring or early summer.

Can you plant them close to your house?

You should leave at least 10 feet of space between your pink weeping cherry tree and your home.


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