Why is Montmorency cherry tree dying?

curtis(5)August 4, 2013

I bought a Montmorency cherry tree from a reputable local nursery this past spring. The tree was a gift to a 6yo kid who loves cherry pie, and put in his grandparents backyard. Grandmother became very ill so visits have been to the hospital rather then the house. but as of July 1 the tree looked great and had new growth.

I was there today and the tree is dying, I'll try to follow up with a photo. It is in a nicely kept yard, sits on a side hill and the yard has a sprinkler system. (is it possible to get too much water on a slope?). Mulched too if that matters. I don't know of any chemical treatments to the yard, but can ask. The soil is not awesome, but grew corn and soybean prior to these houses being built 10+ years ago.

The nursery has a guarantee and I have spent enough with them, I don't feel bad about finally needing to use the guarantee, but want to figure out the problem before replacing it, or better yet would love to save this guy

Edit to add: the tree is in Omaha NE zone 5.

This post was edited by cckw on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 11:36

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curtis(5)

here is a photo if this works

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 11:57PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The dormant buds look nice and fat there, it could just be heat stress which sometimes produces August leaf drop in cherries. If thats what it is it will come back fine next spring. You don't say where you are so I don't know how much heat stress you may be getting.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:00AM
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don555(3a)

Cherries don't like "wet feet" so if the sprinkler is keeping the soil wet then the tree will definitely suffer.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 3:36PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Feel the soil to determine if it too wet or too dry or just right.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:09AM
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curtis(5)

I went there today and it is very wet under the mulch. basically mud. I removed all the mulch in hopes of getting it to dry out a bit. Also the grandpa backed off the water to that zone. But probably too late.

So it is dying and not coming back next year, right? To replace it, does peach tolerate wet feet better then mont cherry?

As an additional note I had said the yard sloped, but actually where the tree is the slope flattened out for about 10 feet so the water can really soak in there... So I am certain that is the problem, so we know to keep an eye on that in the future.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:06AM
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eboone_gw

I personally would wait until next spring and see what leafs out, if you can keep the watering to that area down in the future. Your pic looked like a stressed tree, not dead yet.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:00AM
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eboone_gw

I personally would wait until next spring and see what leafs out, if you can keep the watering to that area down in the future. Your pic looked like a stressed tree, not dead yet.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:05AM
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