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Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by Morainy, May 6, 2011.
My tree's leaves had those spots, too, Justine, though they never really opened as far as yours did.
Add mine to the growing list of Akebono disasters. I'm an experience amateur gardener and have planted many trees in the same or similar soil and location. This tree appeared very healthy when planted in April, and I followed the VCBF website's video planting instructions carefully - although the recommended amount of water seemed excessive. About three weeks after planting, the new leaves started to die, and now only one branch appears to have any life in the cambium. I've consulted with a professional, and he's quite sure the problem is caused by too much water. I honestly think the instructions are to blame. In a wet spring like hours, there is no need to flood the planting hole for 15 minutes or whatever it was.
I'm very disappointed, needless to say. The question now is whether to get rid of the tree and start over with something else, or trim back the dead branches and hope it will revive. Any suggestions out there?
Please contribute to the thread if you are checking here because your VCBF Akebono tree has died or looks unhealthy. Curious to know how many of us are 'out there'.
We have 2 of the Akebono cherry trees from the VCBF. One is half dead, showing very similar symptoms as others describe. It is is a very sunny spot and was planted as per the instructions from Gardenworks. It is in the middle of a gentle slope, and our soil tends to be quite rocky. It was planted with amended soil (compost, topsoil and transplant fertilizer). The other one looks somewhat alive, though we did prune off several dead branches about 2 weeks after planting. Both do look rather sad still, but I had been hopeful that time would help until finding this thread!
I should say I know nothing about growing cherry trees, but if time is going to help, it's a matter of some months, not weeks. And the grower did mention that spring and warm weather need to arrive before new leaves will appear. "Spring" the climate, not "spring" the name of the months we're in. This is still an unusually cold wet April and May.
Well, I bought a replacement tree today and my husband offered to help plant it. So, we lifted the cherry AND THEN noticed there are a handful of new little green leaves close to the trunk on some of the branches. Maybe it really will leaf out again. Let's hope more sunshine and warmth happen soon!
Justine, thanks for posting that. All I've had to go on so far is the grower's optimistic comments, so it's helpful to read some corroboration.
Well, I decided to post it just in case it turns out to be true. Literally I saw four VERY tiny green stubs that are probably buds close to the trunk. They could have been there all along or they could have been coaxed out by the sunshine this weekend. There are still lots of very dead looking branches so it remains to be seen whether the tree recovers or not. My neighbour is a garden designer and she looked at the tree two days ago and was shocked and dismayed. I guess time will tell. Hopefully all the others above will report back too.
I just came across this thread while trying to determine what was wrong with my VCBF Akebono. Same sad tale as all of you.
The tree looked happy enough on the day it came home and we planted according to instructions. It began to leaf out after the blossoms dropped, but it currently has only one branch remaining with (tattered) leaves, though the occasional shoot appears to be trying to emerge on the other branches. Will hang on and see if it makes any sort of recovery.
Add another dead VCBF Birthday Blossom Akebono to the list. It was a gift from my Grandparents, which makes it disappointing. They tried calling to see if we can take it back, but no word yet. We have an older cherry nearby that does well, and everything else (mainly roses) is doing well too. I asked the green thumbs in our family, and they said it's not the best time to transplant while the tree is in the process of blossoming, which was the case. I'm not sure if that's really true or not, though. My wife wanted a Kwanzan before we knew we were getting this one, so maybe she poisoned it! :)
No signs of life on my tree still. Spoke to my favourite advisor at GardenWorks and he didn't hold out too much hope either.
He's obviously had several people approach him with the same complaint because I had barely managed to say "I purchased an Akebono through the VCBF promo...." and he said..."...and it appears to be dead, correct?"
I do believe VCBF (and indeed the grower) could be more proactive on this rather than simply saying "wait and see" or what appears to be more like...."too bad" and leaving it at that. Although I acknowledge that it is not their fault and that Mother Nature can be quirky, I can't help feeling deeply disappointed at how the whole issue is being handled.
I couldn't have stated it more succinctly Cybergirl. This experience, and the apparent hand-washing of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival organization, have left a bitter taste in my mouth. Can't resist saying, "pitt-y, isn't it?".
And those four tiny green leaves I thought might be the start of new growth haven't done anything this past week... In fact they look even thinner than I remember...
Linda Poole, the festival director was to have met again with the landscape architects on her board today, but that meeting was postponed. I have time only for a quick note, two quick comments:
1 - Spring only started today. When you say nothing has changed, it's not time yet for anything to have changed.
2 - Linda mentioned in a note to me "We must remember many of Dr Lam's akebonos in D. Lam Park looked dead last Sept and came back this spring".
The festival has now contacted the people who have reported problems with their birthday blossom trees. I'm extracting the informational content of the message, as it would probably be helpful to others.
Some of the people who have posted problems with their VCBF Birthday Blossoms trees have not contacted the festival, so are not on their contact list.
If that's you and you still want a refund for your tree, please contact Carina Saechiu to ask her to send you the procedures.