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Kwanzan Cherry, advice please!

Hi there. I've planted a Kwanzan Cherry on the East Coast of Florida, Zone 9B. The tree gets south exposure, so I know that planting it in this location was going to be a toss up. Having said that, the tree at the beginning of Spring took off quite well. 

Branches towards the top of the tree formed, and grew somewhat fast. The leaves formed beautifully, and it seemed quite healthy. A lot of growth was taking place, all over the tree trunk. At this time (late Feb/early Mar), in an effort to motivate the tree to continue focusing its growth near the top, I pruned off any new branches trying to form (two or more were halfway up trunk, and a couple more were towards the bottom of the trunk). Soon after I pruned, the results were not what I had anticipated. The tree did not grow any more towards the top. Instead, it halted growth all together. Soon after, the newly formed branches and leaves towards the top began to look stressed. It was at this time, that I began to regret the pruning I had done to the lower branches. Fast forward another month or two, and now there is some new growth towards the very bottom of the trunk. The leaves towards the top are turning yellow and brown, then falling off. I applied an organic fertilizer (dry/granulated), early in spring and then most recently (during April and early May) used a liquid fish fertilizer mixed with water (municipal water sourced). 

I do not plan to prune any more new growth on the tree. Why would it be focusing more now on growing from the bottom though? It is growing from two different locations near the bottom of the trunk. Could I prune off the tips of the top branches to spur new growth up there as well, or should I discontinue pruning this tree all together for the rest of the year?

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Last edited: 02 June 2017 03:49:17

Posts

  • Ladybird4Ladybird4 Third rock from the sunPosts: 33,827

    Hi Constantine. This is a U.K. site where most of our members are situated. In England we only prune these trees in late Spring/Summer if it is needed. Pruning too early in the year can allow some fungal diseases to enter the tree.

    Cacoethes: An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable
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