The Q&A Archives: Snow Fountain Cherry Tree problem

Question: I have a Snow Fountain Cherry tree within my landscape that is only two years old. It flowered a couple of weeks ago, but I noticed that the flowers were not all of the way down on the stem. Now the leaves are in and it is full and lush on the top and there are several shoots and green leaves on the bottom of the long branches, but the middle looks bare. It does not look sick, wilting or yellow. It is just missing growth throughout the middle. Can you please help?

Answer: Unfortunately based on your description I am not sure what is happening with your tree. This tree is usually top grafted, meaning there should be a bare tree trunk and then cascading branches starting out from the top of the trunk. Any growth from the ground or along the main trunk from below that graft should be removed as soon as it appears. The growth from above the graft is the only part that should be allowed to grow. New growth will generally appear at the tips of the existing branches, there may also be some new growth from the center just above or outside the graft. (If it was trimmed to a uniform length this may have encouraged extra growth at the branch tips and this could then make it look a bit like a straight long skirt with a ruffle at the bottom.) As the new growth expands from the top and the branches begin to extend I think it should cover any bare parts. Since I haven't actually seen the tree you might also want to check with your county extension or professionally trained nursery staff -- they might appreciate a photo or two to check the growth pattern. Enjoy your tree!

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