Root pruning of Weeping Cherry

Discussion in 'Ornamental Cherries' started by TimeVoyager, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. TimeVoyager

    TimeVoyager New Member

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    Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, USA
    I know that tree root pruning is normally not recommended, but I have a very healthy weeping cherry in my small front yard. I'm not sure which variety it is, but the trunk is about 18 inches in diameter and the tree is now at a height of about 25 feet. I'm located in south central Pennsylvania in the U.S. My problem is, the roots are coming up through the surface and growing in a linear direction much further than I expected. This is not a big problem, except for one root that will soon destroy a sidewalk and another root that will soon cross a neighbor's property line. The other roots sticking up only present a nuisance when mowing the lawn, but I'm willing to live with that. The beauty of the pink blossoms in spring and the shade it provides are well worth the bumps in the lawn.

    I've been reading about necessary pruning of ornamental tree roots and cautions associated with the practice, including monitoring the health of the tree. I would like to know if I have properly concluded I can cut and remove one and only one large root this year at about 6 to 8 feet from the tree? The idea is to stop the progress of the linear growth and prevent potential damage.

    • Will a weeping cherry of this size and maturity withstand a single root pruning?

    • If so, am I right assuming that the further out from the tree the root pruning occurs, the better?

    • Will the shortened root, if it has 6 to 8 feet left, still function as a root and provide the tree with gravitational support?

    • If the tree remains healthy, could I cut the root back near the neighbor's property next year?

    • Are there any other suggestions to keep the tree healthy?

    Thank you!
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Liable to have been grafted onto sweet cherry, this kind of thing is what sweet cherry rootstocks do. I solved the problem at my place by having the grafted cherry tree removed. You can try fighting with yours but it seems if you cut the roots back enough to subdue the beast that could have a detrimental effect on the specimen (grafted combination).

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