Is my Weeping cherry dead ?

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Old 03-09-20, 07:56 PM
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Is my Weeping cherry dead ?

I bought a relatively young weeping cherry tree about 3 yrs ago.
Planted it and it was doing well for the first 2 year....late last year all leaves just dried out completely.
I posted it here but we couldn't figure out what happened - except possibly some accidental spray with DEET (recall staying by a tree and using insect repellent on me)
anyhow... I was hoping that over the Winter the tree would go dormant and recover for Spring, but now I noticed that all branches are just dry like old wood....
There is absolutely no visible damage, insect mold etc.... the tree trunk looks normal to me. Bark seems ok
Yet every single branch and little old off-shots are dead - I broke off a few smaller pieces, looked inside and it looked like wood that has dried over few years.

Assuming that all branches are in fact dead....what is the chance that the tree itself can still recover?
Is there a way to somehow verify that ?
Would cutting off all branches allow the tree to recover and grow new branches ?
Any way to test the truck ?
Maybe dig below the ground and check the roots ?

I can take pictures if it would help....

thank you!
 
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Old 03-10-20, 04:36 AM
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Where are you located? If the tree is still dormant for winter then the branches will be dry and brittle. Only when it starts to awaken for spring will sap rise up into the branches as the tree gets ready to bud.
 
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Old 03-10-20, 06:17 AM
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I am in Central NJ and there was't real winter here....new grass is already coming up....my Rose bush is starting to have new growth and nice fresh leaves..... Large trees are still naked but I'd assume this young cherry tree should be showing some signs of life.....
 
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Old 03-10-20, 08:54 AM
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Weeping cherry do blossom early but they still haven't popped down here in NC. I'd wait another couple months before getting out the chainsaw.
 
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Old 03-10-20, 11:49 AM
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so I guess no way to test it and see if it can recover?
 
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Old 03-10-20, 03:45 PM
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If you are certain the tree should be budding out by now you can try snapping some twigs or scrape a knife on a few branches. If the tree is alive you will nice white or light yellowish wood with maybe a thin layer of green just under the bark. The wound area will be moist with sap. If it snaps like a dry twig and the wood inside is gray and dry at least that branch is dead.
 
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Old 03-11-20, 06:46 AM
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well....I tested most of the twigs and branches and they are all absolutely dry and brittle.....
Does this mean that the tree itself is dead or would me trimming /cutting off all those branches but leaving the trunk - allow for the tree to maybe "regenerate" next season ?
Can a tree actually still be alive while all of its branches appear dead ?

I am kind of making an analogy to a rose plant..... I have this old but still beautiful rose bush.....I take good care of it and it keeps surprising me each season.
Even the parts of the bush that look dead - after some trimming gives new off-shots
 
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Old 03-11-20, 07:52 AM
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I'm in Wisconsin, and I have a cherry tree like that. Two years ago mid-summer, I sprayed the tree with a Japanese beetle insecticide, and within a couple of weeks, the tree lost all its leaves and appeared dead. Branches would easily snap off. I was sure I had killed the tree.The following spring, the tree magically sprang back to life, but it was later into the spring than usual. I'd wait a bit before you remove the tree to see what happens.
 
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Old 03-11-20, 08:19 AM
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Many weeping cherry are Frankenstein plants. Many are two trees grafted together while some are even three. Root stock from one plant, a pretty trunk from a second and top growth from a third. In your situation I'd be curious and just let it be to see what happens. If the top growth has died the root or trunk stock may regrow. It will be like a Christmas present and you won't know what you've got until you open the box... or the tree buds out and grows.

Look for bulges in the trunk possibly where the trunk meets the ground and/or at the top of the trunk where the branches start. That is often a sign of the graft location.
 
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Old 03-19-20, 03:08 PM
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So just adding the pictures of the tree.... including how it looks like after I cut off a few branches that were completely dried out and brittle...

So is it done or is there any hope ?

Thank you !
 
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Old 03-20-20, 05:53 AM
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Take a knife and make a shallow scraping cut half way up the trunk. If it's dry there I would start shopping for a new tree. Even located where you are the sap should be rising by now.

If the trunk is greenish or moist in the cut then you have to decide if you want to wait and see if it comes back. It might not come back as the weeping cherry you had before or there might still be bits of weeping cherry alive on top that sprout. Either way something caused the tree to die or get into this poor condition. It will either continue to decline or it will take a few years to recover if you've remedied whatever is killing it.

I don't think your DEET overspray killed the tree. You certainly don't want to spray the tree with DEET and you probably couldn't afford to do so anyhow. There is probably another cause for it to decline or die.
 
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Old 03-20-20, 06:18 AM
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I see a couple strange things in your picture:

Why is the grass dead around the terr trunk?
What are all those loose dirt piles on the lawn?
 
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Old 03-20-20, 09:40 AM
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Right under the tree is mulch....not grass
the grass damage in the picture is result of massive work / patio construction on the other side of the house..... it was completed a year ago now.... I had a company put in a new patio and re-grade the property.... they did a good job with that, but rather poor job fixing the grass damage and re-seeding....so I am fixing the spots etc. now

 
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Old 03-20-20, 07:52 PM
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Made a small incision - under the bark the tree seems actually wet...almost rotten wet.
I didn't want to make it any deeper.
close up picture attached

OK...apparently I run out of space to upload my pictures to and seems I can't delete the old pics/
I read the instructions but can't find the folder called Albums
 
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Old 03-21-20, 04:00 AM
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I upload my photos to a web hosting service like Flikr, Imgur... Then I use the image link in my posts. That way your photos don't consume what little storage volume you get on the forum.
 
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Old 03-21-20, 07:10 AM
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link to photo

PS: Dane; good point....except I was thinking that I can just remove some old pics from a few years back
 
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Old 03-21-20, 10:03 AM
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I don't know if the forum allows you to delete old photos. Many people Google and old threads relating to their question pop-up so the forum doesn't want older threads to have missing images that might help people.
 
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Old 03-22-20, 06:52 AM
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and what about the look of the cut? Does it tell you anything ?
Should have made it deeper ?
To me looks rotten and wet - which is the very opposite of all the branches = which were dried out and brittle

If it wasn't the accidental spray with DEET.....I am starting to suspect the mulch retained too much wetness and caused the roots to rot.....the tree was fine for the first few yrs when I had no mulch around it ..... but I got tired of trimming grass around it...so laid down the mulch
 
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Old 03-22-20, 11:33 AM
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Yea, that doesn't look great. It looks more like rot & mildew.

I really don't think there is anything you've done. The DEET didn't do it and the mulch did not hurt the tree either. If anything the mulch helped as a ring of line trimmer damage around the base can be pretty harmful.

I suspect it got a disease of some type. Trees like that can be a bit fussy. It's even hard to say what or how many species are Frankensteined together. It's possible your tree had the genetics from three trees and each can be suseptible to it's own diseases. If any one of the three gets sick the whole thing dies.
 
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Old 03-26-20, 09:51 PM
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As a last ditch resort.......find a short piece of garden hose and beat the trunk like Captain Bligh beat his sailors...for about 10 seconds. Might shock the tree enough to get going.
 
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