Author Topic: Cherry ornamental  (Read 5270 times)

CommonCents

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Cherry ornamental
« on: December 23, 2013, 08:31:56 PM »
We just closed on our new house, and found waiting inside a letter from the sellers with paperwork "to save" the ornamental cherry out front requiring some protective work to prevent winter moths/caterpillars (offered by a tree company they clearly worked with in the past).  I'd prefer not to pay $170, but I also don't want to ignore it and lose the tree.  Any tips on doing it myself?

Jamesqf

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 09:24:56 PM »
Need more information about your location, climate, and what you're supposed to do before I can hope to offer any useful suggestions.

That said, in my climate my fruiting cherries do fine with nothing more than occasional pruning.

Heart of Tin

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 06:00:30 AM »
Is there evidence of pest damage to the tree? Strange markings on the bark? Defoliation? Perhaps your area is experiencing a winter moth epidemic, but otherwise I would question whether preventive pest management is really necessary. Do you have a local extension service? They may have recommendations for cherry tree maintenance specific to your area.

Edit: In one of your old posts you mentioned something about Massachusetts, so I assumed you lived there. Here's a link to an overview of Winter Months from the UMass Extension service: http://extension.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/winter-moth-overview

Note the following excerpt.
Quote
Some products are available that act as a barrier to climbing caterpillars or for the climbing adult female moths in late fall to early winter. This method is known as “tree banding”. The products for tree banding are generally heavyweight paper or plastic strips that are covered with a sticky substance that snare climbing caterpillars (or female moths). However, research does not yet support their effectiveness for reducing winter moth caterpillar populations when in high numbers and they are not recommended for that purpose.
Emphasis theirs.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 06:29:38 AM by Heart of Tin »

CommonCents

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 06:44:14 AM »
Yes, this is near Boston.  Cold.

I don't have much details beyond the letter, offering a 25% discount on spraying.  I'll post the exact wording later tonight when I'm home.

It's an ornamental cherry, not a fruiting cherry (sadly).

No idea regarding pest damage (can't tell re leaf damage because it's winter here, no leaves), although it sounds like yes from the seller's note.  (I didn't look myself yet.  We are not moved in full-time.)   What is a local extension service?

GuitarStv

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2013, 07:09:10 AM »
I'd see how it does next year.  If it's OK, then great!  If it looks like it's being killed, then I'd cut it down, dig it out, and replace it with a tree more suited to the location.  I think that spending a lot of time and money trying to make plants grow where they don't want to is a bit of a waste.

Another Reader

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2013, 07:24:02 AM »
Even ornamental cherry trees drop a lot of messy, sticky fruit you will have to clean up.  They are really pretty for the two or three weeks they are in bloom.

Extension = State Agricultural Extension. 

CommonCents

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2013, 07:38:54 AM »
Even ornamental cherry trees drop a lot of messy, sticky fruit you will have to clean up.  They are really pretty for the two or three weeks they are in bloom.

Extension = State Agricultural Extension.

Really?  Edible, recognizable as cherries?  That would be amazing :)

Another Reader

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2013, 08:01:53 AM »
Here are some pest fact sheets from U Mass Extension.  Without the specific name of the pest, it's not possible to pick the right sheet.

http://extension.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets

Ornamental cherries here in the SF Bay Area are bred to produce less fruit, not no fruit.  Not sure how edible the fruit is.  I have ornamental plums that produce watery, tasteless fruit.

Rural

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2013, 10:24:37 AM »
Even ornamental cherry trees drop a lot of messy, sticky fruit you will have to clean up.  They are really pretty for the two or three weeks they are in bloom.

Extension = State Agricultural Extension.

Really?  Edible, recognizable as cherries?  That would be amazing :)

If it's a true cherry, the fruit will be edible, but it likely won't be very good, and will almost certainly be very, very small. We have some wild natives here with small, bitter fruit; they do make a great syrup  or jelly. The fruit is too small for a cherry pitter and a real pain to pit by hand because there's so little meat on any single cherry, so I usually just make syrup. That way I don't have to fool around with the pits at all, just strain them out, and we have wonderful pancakes. :) Oh, and the syrup can be used to replace some/all of the liquid and the sugar in baked goods.

CommonCents

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 10:39:08 AM »
Even ornamental cherry trees drop a lot of messy, sticky fruit you will have to clean up.  They are really pretty for the two or three weeks they are in bloom.

Extension = State Agricultural Extension.

Really?  Edible, recognizable as cherries?  That would be amazing :)

If it's a true cherry, the fruit will be edible, but it likely won't be very good, and will almost certainly be very, very small. We have some wild natives here with small, bitter fruit; they do make a great syrup  or jelly. The fruit is too small for a cherry pitter and a real pain to pit by hand because there's so little meat on any single cherry, so I usually just make syrup. That way I don't have to fool around with the pits at all, just strain them out, and we have wonderful pancakes. :) Oh, and the syrup can be used to replace some/all of the liquid and the sugar in baked goods.

My sister already cans, so I could do jelly relatively easily.  But I suspect the quantity is too small for it (small tree, I think I may be taller than it) so I may be begging you for a syrup recipe if it doesn't die.

Rural

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2013, 10:50:13 AM »
Easy. Cherries in a pot, cover with water (about an inch higher than the cherries), cook on low for awhile, until you mostly have mush and pits. Strain the cherry water (squeeze to get all the juice out) and measure it, then reheat, stirring, on low with 2 parts sugar to one part cherry water until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear. Cool and can/freeze/put on pancakes. This makes a thin syrup which I use for both baking and pancakes, so if you want something more like the thickness of traditional pancake syrup, use up to 4 parts sugar.

Jamesqf

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2013, 11:19:25 AM »
...small tree, I think I may be taller than it...

Honestly, if it's that small, I'd just yank it out and replace it with something more suitable.  Hell, at $170 per year, you could get something that size in a pot every year, and still be over $100 ahead.

CommonCents

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2013, 09:31:03 PM »
Ok, paperwork is two contracts, one dated Dec. 2:
Selective Foliage Spray for Caterpillars on Cherry $50
Selective Foliage Spray for Caterpillars on Deciduous Trees $175
All less 25%

Handwritten note by seller: Moth treatment to protect weeping cherry tree in front yard

Other (I think this is an earlier bill and not an additional one) is dated Nov. 15
Selective Foliage Spray for Caterpillars $175
less 25%

Handwritten note by seller: For buyers - needed to save weeping cherry in the front

The letter with both talks about adult winter moths.

Another Reader

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 10:23:27 AM »
The sellers were obviously attached to the high-maintenance weeping cherry.  Maybe they would like to have it, if it can be safely relocated.  Personally, I don't want anything in my yard that requires poisonous sprays and lots of work to get it to survive.  I would re-home the tree if it is expensive and/or rare, and put something hardy in its place.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 11:44:31 AM »
Just looked weeping cherry trees up... they're gorgeous, but high maintenance:
(holy carp, did you see how pretty when they're blooming?)

http://www.goodseedfarm.com/ArticleWeeping-Cherry-Trees.htm

Dwarf variety will only get about 15 feet tall, while regular grows up to 30 feet. If it's a dwarf, then you probably could do all the maintenance yourself since it wouldn't get too large for you not to be able to get to most of it. I probably would keep it and do the work to keep it up myself, but it also depends on how much you like the tree and gardening in general. I'd also call around to local nurseries and get some info from them regarding what pests are possible to protect against yourself.

You should be able to use a fruit tree insecticide, but there are predator bugs that will eat the insects that would harm your tree:

"A healthy, fertile weeping cherry tree in well-dampened soil will not attract pests and fungus infections. But aphids, borers and spider mites will attack if the tree begins to suffer the least bit of drought. Examine the leaves for yellow spots to detect the presence of spider mites. Leaves that look chewed or distorted reveal an insect infestation. For an organic method of insect removal, use predator insects like pirate bugs, thrips and lady beetles to control all three of these pests."

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/weeping-cherry-tree-care-and-pest-control#.UrslV_b1bNM#ixzz2oVtRhawq

But I'd probably be okay just using a fruit tree insecticide... just don't do both cause you'll kill the beneficial insects!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 11:48:39 AM by Frankies Girl »

MKinVA

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Re: Cherry ornamental
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2013, 06:47:42 PM »
We have these damn tenting caterpillars in Virginia like crazy!! Our tech extension says they do not do permanent damage to the tree they "hibernate" in. They recommend banding the trees before the caterpillars climb up the tree to tent it. They are little green wiggly things that fall from the trees in the spring/summer, root around on the ground and then when they have their sea legs, they crawl up the trees to tent and start all over again. Annoying, but I have several ornamental cherries, etc., and they are fine. I say leave them alone. Band the tree if you want after the little greenies have fallen, and see how it goes. Don't pay someone to spray pesticide all over the place.
They are called canker worms if you want to look them up. Also, they are food for birds...so..just saying...