The Q&A Archives: Need helping with tree

Question: We have 2 trees in the yard of our new home. We are not sure what kind of trees they are, and need help. They satnd approx. 10 feet tall. The trunk grew upwards, and then the branches fall like a weeping tree. It had small green pods on it and then over night bloomed small white flowers. We are clearing out the yard, and looking at what plants and trees to keep and what to get rid of. These trees are nice but if we knew what they were we could then research what needs to be done to bring them back to there full potential as they seem to have grown wild. the top of the trunk is about 10 feet but the branches seem to grow in every direction before they fall to the ground. Any help??

Answer: Your tree might be a weeping crabapple or weeping cherry. The pods would be flower buds. If the tree produces small apple type fruits this fall, then you will know what you have. Or, you could take a photo of the overall tree and closeup of the foliage to your Penn State county extension and they should be able to identify it for you. They should also be able to tell you how to prune it -- if pruning is needed.

Weeping trees are grafted, with the weeping top attached (grafted) to the trunk (root stock) at one point. Based on your description, I am not sure if what you have is a case of excess growth from the root stock, or not. Any branches that are growing out of the trunk from below the graft should be removed right away and new ones as soon as they appear. Any extra shoots growing up from the ground should also be removed right away.

Most weeping trees grow with the main branches reaching up and out from the graft before they turn and begin to weep. Side branches will also go up and out before they droop. There is no way you could prune to prevent it. Once the tree leafs out it will look more like a normal overall cascading, weeping tree. In the meantime, many gardeners and landscapers consider the interesting branch pattern to be a decorative feature of the tree during the winter months.

I hope this helps.

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