The Q&A Archives: Is there hope for my weeping cherry tree?

Question: Hi,

We just planted a weeping cherry tree about 9 days ago. When we took it out of the pot, the root ball was broken, and we did our best to keep it together. And, since our soil is very much like clay in this part of the country, we used the appropriate amount of top and potting soil to help it out. I know we dug deep enough, and I have been watering religiously since it's been quite hot.

Even after all that, it started to droop, then droop some more, until all the leaves are now brown. I do see a little teeny tiny bit of green on the tips of the branches.

My question is: is there hope? Or, is she gone for good? It just happened so fast.

Answer: While it is normal for newly planted trees and shrubs to show some signs of distress after being transplanted, it is unusual for all of the leaves to turn brown. I think the problem of planting in mid-summer was compounded by the broken root ball. Cherry trees are usually quite vigorous, and green tissue is encouraging. I'd give it the benefit of the doubt - water deeply once each week, wait for the weather to cool down a bit, and have a little more patience with your tree. If it develops new leaves, all is well; if the stems and branches begin to dry out (look for crinkling along the stems), then the tree is a goner and will have to be replaced. Let's hope for the best!

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