Cherry – Planted Too Deep
Q: I have a four year old Yoshino cherry. The trunk is splitting vertically, and there is a strange wound (maybe mechanical damage) on the trunk. One of the splits has fungus growing on it. The leaves seem to drop every year in late summer and by September, they are all gone.
A: I think your tree was planted too deep. Cherry, peach and plum trees are famous for being intolerant of heavy soil or wet roots….they simple can’t breathe very well.
In this weakened state, fungi can attack the tree trunk and invade beneath, leading to bark cracks as you see. Not much can be done to cure this but you can carefully excavate around the trunk to determine where the first big root occurs. Normally it should be right at the soil surface.