Cherry – Weeping Too Much

Q: Last October, I planted a 5′ weeping cherry tree. My hope was that it would grow 12-15′ (as the tag suggested it would do). I planted it in a big hole with good soil and a little lime added.

It didn’t grow an inch taller this year. What it did do was weep and weep and weep, growing down and out – a LOT.

Upon closer inspection, I see that it came with the trunk is snipped off at the top. I really wanted something a little bigger in this space. Do I need to dig it up, or am I just giving it the wrong care?

A: My guess is that you bought a weeping Higan cherry, Prunus subhirtella var pendula, not a grafted weeping cherry. In your profile view it looks like limbs from top to bottom are drooping. If it were a grafted tree, only the limbs at the top would weep and the trunk would be bare.

I’m not sure about the tag information on its height. I have a weeping Higan cherry and it is easily thirty feet tall.

That said, it’s hard for a Higan cherry to regain it’s vertical top once it has been removed. If you need something taller, take this one out and replace it with a weeping Higan with a strong center. Clip the top when it is the height you desire.