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cherry tree - shallow roots

Posted by neilp CA (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 28, 08 at 23:12

My backyard cherry tree hasn't born fruit in 3 seasons, and I think I may know why. We recently discovered that the root system is extremely shallow on the tree; rather than deep roots, they are growing out wide and on the soil surface.

I'm guessing this is not a good thing. One explanation is that or soil is very clayey (we are in Sacramento), so perhaps the roots are having trouble penetrating. We recently cut some of the far reaching roots back, but we'd like to encourage the roots to go deep. Any ideas?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: cherry tree - shallow roots

There are many causes for a cherry to not bear a crop, but shallow roots is not one of them. Cherry as well as most fruit trees have relatively shallow roots. I don't think you will be able to change that. While many think the roots are near the surface because of water available the amount of air in the soil close to the surface is even more significant. Clay soil has less air space than other soils and is more likely to be compacted. You don't say what is on the soil under your cherry but a good three inches or more of mulch would help the feeder roots get more air and also help conserve the soil moisture. However I don't think a better fed tree will get you cherries. Look for pollination problems as well as the temperature and weather conditions during the flowering. Al

RE: cherry tree - shallow roots

Have you checked the chill hour requirements for your cherry? I'm in Zone 9 in socal and there definitely is not enough chill hours to get cherries.

RE: cherry tree - shallow roots

Many cherry trees require another cherry tree to pollinate them. If you only have one and there are no other cherries nearby, that may be your problem. I think it's as Al stated, more of a pollination problem.


RE: cherry tree - shallow roots

From my experience I live in Covina, CA (Zone 8 or 9)and was ready to destroy my Stella cherry tree after 4 years of not giving fruit and not one flower. But this year (5th) it gave some flower and fruit (10+ cherries) and hoping this coming year I will have more. I read that it take many years before a cherry tree will start to give fruit. So I would say stay patient and wait a few more years.

RE: cherry tree - shallow roots

I live in so. cal (foothills of altadena) and am in zone 9. I have 5 cherry trees and they all flower and bear fruit. It does get chilly being in the foothills with freezing at least once or twice a winter so maybe this helps. Since I have 3 in a row perhaps they do need others to pollinate. Again, I don't know but not sure if you should give up on them yet. My question to you all, my comrades in the gardening world, is should I plant winter gem boxwood to form a hedge that is only 1.5 feet away from my cherry trees? Will this destroy them? I don't have any more width as the stip is only 4-5 ft wide and the trees are in the middle. Both the trees and boxwood have shallow roots. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated.

Need ORNAMENTAL 10-15' Redondo Beach

The backyard of my townhouse is 15x50 and faces North. I have a 15"x15' cornor that needs help!

I'm looking for an evergreen muli-trunk that grows to 10-15' high. It will go in the NW cornor to block an ugly view.

On either side of the new tree (in the cornor), I also need something up against the W and N corner walls. I'm thinking about silver sheen as narrow hedge or maybe pink powder puff trimmed close to the wall.

I've looked at bottle brush, china doll (found a beautiful one,but I'm scared it will grow to 20' w/ an ugly trunk(s) as I read it's a fast grower.

I love the red Japanese Maples but would really like an evergreen.

I need all the advice I can get! Please HELP!

RE: cherry tree - shallow roots

stonehengehorse planting a box hedge that close to your trees will not produce a good hedge. Without more sun the hedge will be sparse and weak. It won't hurt an older tree, and the tree roots that close to the trunk will not have a significant bearing on the boxwood.

dance2gether, start a new post of your own to get responses on your questions. Al

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