Trees and Shrubs forum: Cherry tree dead

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tampa fl
Johnfin
Mar 4, 2018 5:31 PM CST
I had this great cherry tree in florida until we had a freeze. It died, i think, but i saw some growth on the trunk. All of the limbs were dry and snapped off. Is it possible its still alive?
Thumb of 2018-03-04/Johnfin/b03943

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Mar 4, 2018 6:16 PM CST
It certainly seems to be alive at the base. Give it some time and see how much it recovers.
Porkpal
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Mar 5, 2018 12:36 PM CST
That tree is not dead yet, and it may not be in the near future. Tons of growth going up the trunk as you mentioned. I had the top half of a multi-graft cherry tree just disappear after just before fruiting last year, and I am way up North from you. I thought for certain it was gone, but the other day in 3 Degree C temperatures, I had my second walk in the gardens, and indeed, there are new buds coming out! So, hang in there!
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 5, 2018 3:15 PM CST
Not dead, trim out the dead next winter.
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
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ViburnumValley
Mar 8, 2018 8:22 PM CST
Those are adventitious buds, sprouting in response to the loss of live tissue/wood higher up on the plant.

This is how woody plants response to damage - whether it is temperature related, or predation, or snapped off by a storm or stupid human.

I agree with the comments about letting the sprouts grow out and see what happens. I would say your chances at having a worthwhile specimen after this much damage are slim, but gardeners are nothing if they are not optimists.

Have a backup plan if/when this valiant individual does not overcome this incredible setback.

John
Michigan (Zone 5b)
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crazypetunias
Mar 13, 2018 8:24 AM CST
Is your cherry tree grafted? The roots of a grafted tree will not grow the same variety of fruit if it grows any fruit. Look for the graft line and trim back any sprouts coming from below that area. New growth above the graft are your best hope for the tree to survive. Crossing Fingers!
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Mar 13, 2018 8:31 AM CST
I've driven through the cherry orchards in eastern Washington (which gets pretty cold in the winter) and am always amazed at how severely some of the trees are pruned. Reminds me of a rose bush - nothing but a couple branch stubs. Apparently they recover OK though. I'd go with the wait-and-see option myself. We have a Montmorency cherry that was really hit hard with a big snow load a few years back that snapped off lots of big branches. I've been just cutting it back every spring to kind of shape it up and am surprised at how much new growth it has put on. It is still not looking real good, but is the pollinator for my Sam cherry so if I lose the Montmorency, I'll be out of luck with any cherries (until I replant another pollinator).
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