Ask a Question forum: tops of newly planted prunus caroliniana dying

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Moraga, CA
versakos
Nov 28, 2017 3:41 PM CST
In June of this year, planted 5, 15-gallon prunus caroliniana trees. All five have robust green leaves on them. However, two of the five trees are completely brown at the top and no leaves on about top six inches of the uppermost lateral branch. They appear to be dying from the top down, even though rest of leaves are very healthy and green. I would love not to lose these trees!
Thumb of 2017-11-28/versakos/4a81c1


Thumb of 2017-11-28/versakos/973d15


Thumb of 2017-11-28/versakos/53e2fc

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 28, 2017 6:37 PM CST
Large trees always have a tougher time acclimating to being transplanted then smaller trees. In fact, sometimes a smaller tree will outgrow a larger transplant. Are you deep watering? Newly planted trees, especially large ones, need to be watered enough so the water reaches down below the root ball. The best way to do that is to put a hose on drip under the trees and let it run until water starts to puddle. Repeat once a week at first and then once every other week.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Nov 28, 2017 6:52 PM CST
I would also cut that tape, and tie them more loosely to the stakes pretty soon. Trunks will be stronger if they can flex a little.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Nov 28, 2017 9:00 PM CST
Yes, Carol is right. Tree trunks grow strong because they flex and move. When a tree is tightly bound to a stake, like yours are, they don't have to grow strong trunks as the tree stakes are doing that job for them.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Nov 29, 2017 6:11 AM CST
Daisy and Carol are absolutely correct that the ties need to be loosened. One thing I can't see clearly in the pictures is the base of the trunk. Were they planted so that the root flare is not buried? In one of the pictures it looks like the trunk is straight going into the ground, but maybe that's an effect of the mulch? What did you use to backfill the planting holes?

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