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Newly planted Prunus subhirtella "Autumnalis Rosea" tree - looking okay?

Hello everybody,

thanks for taking a look at my Prunus subhirtella "Autumnalis Rosea". 

I planted it 2 months ago, and while it's not looking any worse than when it arrived on the truck, it still hasn't got many leaves. That doesn't worry me all that much, I know I should be patient ... But now there's bit of tape coming undone at the bottom of the crown. Is this a problem? Did I get ripped off by the seller? it looks like the complete crown was grafted onto the trunk.
The instructions coming with the tree said to leave the cloth around the roots intact, as well as the metal 'basket'/frame-like construction. I did leave it, but I cut it open (both the cloth and the metal wiring), so that the roots could freely settle. Apparently the cloth will rot and the wires will not be in the way of the roots ...
I water this tree twice a week; we live at the seaside and the soil is quite sandy and draining. I also added some compost to the soil before planting the tree. 
There are quite a few prunus trees in our street, and they are all doing great. So the location is definitely okay.

Sorry about the photos being topsy turvy: I can't get them to appear straight  :#

I really hope the tree is doing fine, and that the thing with the tape is nothing to worry about ... 


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,688
    edited June 2021
    You don't show the lower section of your tree. Ensure you have cleared away grass growing around the base so you can top dress mulch like bark chip to keep weeds away. They may need more watering than twice a week in the summer months if you have quite free draining soil. Water generously to help the roots grow down-wards.

    I cannot comment too much about the grafted section, but so far it looks fine for a newly planted tree. New trees can have sparse leaf growth. You may see leaves dropping off earlier than other mature trees. This is normal. Your tree is going to take a few years to settle in. 
  • foxgloveloverfoxglovelover Posts: 13
    edited June 2021
    Hi Borderline, thank you very much for your reply!
    The base is completely free and I've made a little well so that the water doesn't run away. However, I've just read that the well should extent at least 3 feet from the trunk, and mine is a lot smaller. I'd say it's approximately the size of the root ball (2 feet across, so extending about a foot from the trunk either side). I didn't know at the time of planting. I will clear some extra space. I really want this tree to flourish! :-)
    Anyway: thanks for looking at the pics and the advice.
  • I think the reason for the tape and stake is to prevent the grafted section being loosen from the root stock which would cause the grafted head to die and the root stock to start producing what is probably a wild variety of plum for vigour. If the sellers advocated leaving them alone it might have been a good idea not to cut them. Fingers crossed yours will survive.
    A rough guide to estimate the area of a tree's root run is it will match the width of the tree's head, plus some. Measure from the trunk out as far as the widest, longest branch then add about a metre.
  • Thanks Joyce Goldenlily!

    Yes, I might re-attach the tape that attaches the crown to the trunk.  I think it has come undone because of all the rain we have had. I was just wondering if trees like this are normally grafted right under the crown. But I understand this is nothing to worry about.

    The bit that I DID loosen/cut before planting is the frame and the cloth around the roots. The seller's instructions said to leave them in place as they prevent the roots ball from falling apart (??? roots don't normally fall apart, do they?) but I googled it and some other authors said to definitely remove them. Apparently the decomposing process of the cloth consumes valuable oxygen, and the metal wire frame takes ages to decompose. So I decided to follow the middle way: I removed as much as possible while leaving the bits that provided support for the roots. 

    I already cleared more space around the trunk, but it looks like I'll have to clear yet some more! 
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,064
    I was just wondering if trees like this are normally grafted right under the crown. 
    Yes, they are 👍🏼
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Great! Any thoughts on the roots question? What’s best: leaving the cloth and metal wires or removing them? (Sorry if I don’t always use the correct words. English is not my first language and I don’t have the vocabulary 😬)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,795
    I think these are used so that recently potted trees and shrubs do not lose all their soil when taken out of the pot to plant them.  I would follow the seller/nurseryman's instructions, particularly for an expensive plant, as unless you follow them you'll invalidate any guarantee and you'll probably lose any consumer's rights you ought to have should the plant fail.

    Your English is fine ... I know that much as I've loved visiting Belgium on quite a few occasions,  my language skills are far inferior to yours.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Ah!! Makes sense. Thanks a lot for this clarification, Dovefromabove!
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