Kwanzan Cherry Tree - can it recover from this pruning?

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by Judee Hashem, Jul 11, 2021.

  1. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Hello everyone and thank you for allowing me to join this forum. I am in a very sad dilemma. I hired a landscaper to trim some branches touching me home on my thriving cherry tree, and he butchered the top off and removed about 60% of the top of the tree. I am so upset and hoping to get some sound advise on the platform. I’m concerned for its survival because a few leaves are turning yellow and also will it return to its original shape?
    This tree has deep meaning to me and I am devastated. I would be grateful for any thoughts and even some prayers. I am uploading before and after photos of my Kwanzan Cherry Tree.
    C5226D08-9099-4B32-A6DA-2ECCA925229D-cropped.jpeg 7C5BCF35-075C-4B10-8061-66389D779828.jpeg F6D847EB-FA3B-4336-A156-36B3C3FD7911.png
     
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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Oof. You can read this thread: Kanzan/Kwanzan cherry tree and pollarding

    At this point, I'd find an ISA-certified arborist to come in and consult on restorative pruning. It will be a long road back to health for the plant.
     
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  3. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Thank you for your advise. I did make an appointment for next Wednesday with a certified arborist. Someone had recommended a 1-3-5 Program but I’m most concerned about sunscald. I’m so upset. Any Advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Judee Hashem good evening. Your question to start this thread was can it recover and the answer is a definite YES. All mature trees look this way after being given a hard prune. They do take a couple of years to fill back in. There is absolutely nothing to be worried about IMO.
    A certified arborist is not going to do anything else to your tree, well he shouldn't IMO. But I fully respect Daniels expert opinion here.
    Next Spring and Summer, your cherry tree will look amazing.

    D
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Taking half the top off in July means that sun burning of many of the remaining leaves is likely. So be prepared for that first off. After that probably the main visible issue will be replacement branches going off at undesirable angles from at or near the cut branch ends - this is typical with hard pruned cherries. So there will have to be some follow up thinning in order to attempt to achieve an approximation of the original internal branching structure. Other than that 'Kanzan' is a large growing Sato Zakura that actually produces examples 60' tall or more on some sites. With the vase shape of young trees morphing into a broader one in time - that is what was happening with your planting, the tree was broadening so that it had started to reach the house. It will continue to do so from this point forward. So you might actually consider removal and replacement at this stage, instead of looking at something whose appearance will now be a source of dismay for years. And will be touching the house again after that, grow ever taller and wider with time.
     
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  7. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Good Evening! You have provided the answer that I was praying for. I just need hope that the tree will recover and thrive once again. I do realize to gain original shape will take years amd that an arborist will help guide my beautiful cherry tree back to a better shape. Right now it’s pruned like a fruit baring tree. Should I be concerned about the sunscald that others have spoken about? I am so grateful for your professional advise. This photo was the view from my bathroom window April 2021. I’ll have to wait a few years for this but I’m happy my tree will recover.
    I am very grateful for you sharing your knowledge and experience so that I know what to look out for in the next coming months and year. Just knowing it will recover has eased my heart. I already see that the side branches were not trimmed and are heading toward my house, but honestly I do not care. I am never touching this tree again. The landscaper really had no experience. A hard lesson learned on my part .
    Thank you again!
     

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  8. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Thank you again for your advise and I am hoping for its survival. I want to update you on the changes I am seeing. Some of the leaves are becoming a lighter green and about 3 branches have autumn colored leaves. Would you consider this to be somewhat normal considering the tree was topped about 50%. I am so grateful for any advise. Thank You!
     
  9. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Well, Ron B's statement that "Taking half the top off in July means that sun burning of many of the remaining leaves is likely" would seem to indicate that you should expect that.

    I think you should read his reply again. Ron also said "So there will have to be some follow up thinning in order to attempt to achieve an approximation of the original internal branching structure", to which you replied " I am never touching this tree again." If that's going to be your approach, maybe it would be best to consider the rest of his reply: "So you might actually consider removal and replacement at this stage". That sounds harsh, but it doesn't sound as if you're going to be happy with the amount of work you're going to have to put into this tree, nor with what it will be like if you don't put that work into it.
     
  10. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Thank you again for your reply. I was in shock myself that someone could hard prune this tree which prompted my intial responses. It is 2 weeks now and I feel more settled in my plan. I will put the necessary work into it because removal is not an option unless the tree dies or becomes diseased. I already contacted a certified arborist to help with future trimming in order to regain its shape. I did read Ron’s reply but I was looking for confirmation because I’m very upset and before this incident I knew zero about tree trimming. I am a dentist of 33 years and would not preform treatment without my patients knowledge or approval which is exaclty what this landscaper did. I appreciate your input and I am not going to remove the tree because it has a chance to recover. Thank you again!
     
  11. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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    I like the photo you posted from your spa tub window —- that’s very pretty ... keep your hope

    And restoration plan in focus — as you know from care plans in your field of work

    Wendy has summarized well the various inputs you’ve had here

    This past cherry bloom Festival 2021 - thé Sunshine Coast thread - one of the scouts has a special name for the questionable hair styles some cherries receive -

    There’s a longtime group out of Seattle I think - Plant Amnesty - that may offer insight re how to choose arborist and verify the « right » choice etc
     
  12. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Thank you!! I will look to contact Plant Amnesty if I can. I have an arborist meeting me Wednesday Am. I’ll check back with everyone after that meeting.
     
  13. Georgia Strait

    Georgia Strait Generous Contributor

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  14. Judee Hashem

    Judee Hashem New Member

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    Thank you
     

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