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Cherry tree problem

Hi, I live in Aberdeenshire and I planed a cherry tree (fruit variety) two years ago. Suddenly, two or three of the branches have died - the branches started to bud and then just died off. The rest of the tree is fine, can’t think what’s caused it.

Has anyone had similar?


  • Forgot to ask, should these branches be trimmed and to what extent?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    Can you take a close-up of the lower parts of the dead branches, and the point they join the trunk please?  The usual process with any dead wood is to remove it entirely, cutting back into live wood, just above a side shoot, or flush with the main branch or trunk if the whole branch is dead.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • edited July 2021
    Hi Bob,
    thanks for commenting. I’ve taken a few photos. Both branches join the trunk at around the same place. The left branch has dark sap coming from the bottom but I notice this is usual as the tree has sap coming from a couple of other places. Hope these pictures help.

    for some strange reason the photos are uploading on their side, I can’t figure out how to change that.

    weirdly, the third branch is growing fine and has its leaves (it’s the one on the right from the cluster that’s growing from the trunk).

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337
    edited July 2021
    Hi Stuart, I don't like the look of the area circled in purple, where a 'snag' has been left after a small branch broke or was removed, and it looks like something nasty could have entered, such as canker.  I would cut where the red line is, and now is a good time to prune cherry trees.  To be frank, any sap leakage on prunus species is generally not good news and may mean the disease has spread, but if you remove anything dead or unhealthy now, it can only help.  When you do the pruning, be sure to clean the saw blade between each cut to prevent the disease being transferred to healthy wood.  Dilute bleach or any of the gel stuff we've all been using against Covid would do the job.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thank you very much Bob, I was getting worried and it’s been 3 months so I may have left it too late I think (hope not!!)
    I will make the cut tomorrow and see how it does. There is a separate branch on the other side that is sapping but thought that was due to birds landing on branch.
    thanks again for your help.

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