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Dead branches in tree

jameson_uk

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You lot seem knowledgeable so might as well ask here.

I have a tree (cherry I think although I have never seen any fruit) which has a couple of dead looking branches. The rest of the tree is in blossom but these branches have no growth at all.

They are a few meters up so can't tell if they are rotten / brittle but look reasonably solid from down here.

Anything I should be concerned about? Should I get up there and cut them off or just leave them?

Best picture I can (you can just make out one branch in top left corner) get
1ab0e922765acd3fc391457a2755c6fa.jpg
 

mort

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I am a pruner. I like to keep my trees nice and open as it keep things healthier, so if they look dead then I'd be inclined to remove them. Saying that if it's high up and hard to reach then it might be best to leave it if you can't safely get to it easily.
I think cherry trees are best pruned later (if it's dead it shouldn't matter) when they are growing stronger, mid May onwards should be good. If you do chop the branch leave a foot to the trunk so when the weight inevitably splits the wood it won't go back to the trunk. You can then make a clean cut near the trunk (if that makes sense).
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Best picture I can (you can just make out one branch in top left corner) get
I think the <"flowering bit was originally the root stock"> (Wild Cherry - Prunus avium) and the bit that has died (above it) is the original scion, which would have been a much more ornamental variety (like <"Kanzan"> or similar).

This is what they call "delayed incompatibility". It happens a lot with <"ornamental Cherries">.
I think cherry trees are best pruned later
They are. Prunus spp., Peaches, Apricots, Plums and Cherries are very prone to <"Silver leaf">, and pruning later mitigates against this.

cheers Darrel
 

jameson_uk

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Hi all, I think the <"flowering bit was originally the root stock"> (Wild Cherry - Prunus avium) and the bit that has died (above it) is the original scion, which would have been a much more ornamental variety (like <"Kanzan"> or similar).

This is what they call "delayed incompatibility". It happens a lot with <"ornamental Cherries">.
As the article says, not many people know that :D It is fascinating but I guess I will never know what the original tree was like as it was probably planted many many years ago (or as I suspect with most of my garden it has just sprouted up as there is a much larger tree on other side of next door's garden)
It is flowering above the dead branches and from what I can see the flowers do look identical to those below.
There are some branches where a few sub-branches have blossom and others looks quite dead. It is almost like the middle third has died off or is dying off.
Looking at the original pic I think quite a lot of the blossom is actually from a tree next to it (which looks like whoever planted the original tree just left to grow naturally from the seeds of the original tree).
Not that this is any better but this is taken from underneath the tree and you can see some branches where some of the sub-branches are completely lifeless but there is blossom on some. (The worst branches have no blossom or signs of growth at all)
IMG_20200411_154517.jpg



This is one branch I could reach. It still seems to be pretty flexible but doesn't look too healthy?
00100lrPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20200411154618993_COVER.jpg


The branches are reachable with a ladder so I will give it a few months and give the totally lifeless ones a good trim.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
It is flowering above the dead branches and from what I can see the flowers do look identical to those below......as there is a much larger tree on other side of next door's garden
All root-stock then. Prunus avium root-stocks sucker really badly as well, and the roots extend a long way.

cheers Darrel
 

mort

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If you are a little impatient and want to check for life then gently scrape off a little of the surface and if it's still alive but just slow to get going, you'll see a green layer. However if it is brown straight away then it will have died off.
I have a cherry that has been really slow to get going this year. It hasn't really flowered and only a few areas are showing much signs of leaf but it's still alive. I don't know if some species need a cold winter to produce a good display (but I bet Darrel does).
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I don't know if some species need a cold winter to produce a good display (but I bet Darrel does).
Peaches need six weeks of relative cold to flower, but I'm not sure about other Prunus sp.
However if it is brown straight away then it will have died off.
Dead would be my guess.

cheers Darrel
 

jameson_uk

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If you are a little impatient and want to check for life then gently scrape off a little of the surface and if it's still alive but just slow to get going, you'll see a green layer. However if it is brown straight away then it will have died off.
Not impatient but I seem to have more time on my hands to be out in the garden . The one I could reach had some elasticity which I always was a sign that it wasn't completely dead (yet)?

I seem to recall noticing the same last year and thought I needed to look at it (I have a feeling a few branches had no leaves at all).

Either way I will leave it till summer and probably remove any branches that have no leaves (although by this time I wonder whether I will be back to having very little time to be in the garden )
 

jameson_uk

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No leaves means it is dead?
There is a layer of foliage just above the laurel and then a lot of branches with no leaves and then some normal branches at the top.
8f66572b8c7a944f567bcf1d94827c01.jpg

Should I remove the dead branches or given the amount should I chop the trunk just above the level of the laurel?

I guess there is also a question of whether I should be concerned that quite a large chunk of the tree appears to have shutdown???

I did notice the whole root / scion thing in a couple of cherry trees over the road from us. Had never even noticed that they had different coloured leaves before...
75a73277be8eb725803fe0e4a2ab32d8.jpg
 

SteveM

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Prune your cherry on a hot dry day and paint the wound with a antifungal/bacteria resin. They get infected really easily.

From The Fruit Expert by DG Hessayon. "prune in june-late july, Keep pruning to a minimum. The sole purpose of cutting out wood at this stage is to reduce overcrowding and keep the tree healthy. Remove dead, diseased and broken branches. Paint all cuts with Arbrex. Do not prune in winter"
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I guess there is also a question of whether I should be concerned that quite a large chunk of the tree appears to have shutdown???
My guess is that the tree isn't long for this world.
They get infected really easily.
They do. I think the information is particularly to do with "Silver Leaf", but is also good advice for "Bacterial Canker" etc.
I did notice the whole root / scion thing in a couple of cherry trees over the road from us.
That looks interesting. I can't see from the photo what the tree is.

Can you get a closer photo?

cheers Darrel
 

hypnogogia

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Hi all, Peaches need six weeks of relative cold to flower, but I'm not sure about other Prunus sp.Dead would be my guess.

cheers Darrel
I was once told that our plum tree (prunus) did better after a really cold winter - better flowers and more fruit. So it seems to apply to more than one type of prunus. Also, best pruned when the sap is rising, because of possible silver leaf.
 

jameson_uk

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Hi all, My guess is that the tree isn't long for this world
The bottom part of the tree (hidden by the laurel in the photo) actually looks quite healthy and the very top has some branches which also look quite healthy. It is just this strip in the middle that looks completely dead. There are other trees that are in need of more immediate attention first....

That looks interesting. I can't see from the photo what the tree is.

Can you get a closer photo?
Hopefully this looks OK but the sun was right in the wrong place. If you want a close up of the leaves that involves actually crossing the road :angelic: so let me know....
MVIMG_20200602_184113.jpg
 

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jameson_uk

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Prune your cherry on a hot dry day and paint the wound with a antifungal/bacteria resin. They get infected really easily.

From The Fruit Expert by DG Hessayon. "prune in june-late july, Keep pruning to a minimum. The sole purpose of cutting out wood at this stage is to reduce overcrowding and keep the tree healthy. Remove dead, diseased and broken branches. Paint all cuts with Arbrex. Do not prune in winter"
Minimum pruning would be one cut across the trunk :p
Will look at lopping those branches in the next week or two then.
 

alto

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From The Fruit Expert by DG Hessayon. "prune in june-late july, Keep pruning to a minimum. The sole purpose of cutting out wood at this stage is to reduce overcrowding and keep the tree healthy. Remove dead, diseased and broken branches. Paint all cuts with Arbrex. Do not prune in winter"
I guess all the local orchardists and horticulture specialist forgot to read this one ;)

Major trunk cuts should be sealed with protector, but
Paint all cuts with Arbrex.
when you’re making thousands of cuts on hundreds of trees :crazy:
 
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