Why Your Weeping Cherry Tree No Longer Weeps

Weeping cherries are iconic. These fountain-like sprays of magnificent blossoms are not like the rest.

They appear like one thing straight out of our favourite fairytales and it’s little surprise they typically function in them.

I suppose it shouldn’t come as a shock, given their otherworldly magnificence, that they don’t really happen in nature.

That’s proper – weeping cherries don’t naturally develop that means. They’re produced utilizing grafting and even handed pruning. Then, they’re shipped off to the patron to plant and revel in.

A horizontal photo of the top half of a large weeping cherry tree covered in pale pink blossoms.

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Generally, these weeping beauties resolve that they need to develop upright.

You’ve most likely seen them. Those which have just a few errant stems poking out the highest that simply don’t appear to slot in with the remainder of the tree.

We’re going to go over why that occurs and what you are able to do to repair it. Arising, right here’s what we’ll talk about:

Don’t fear, your loved one tree will probably be again to weeping very quickly. To start out with, let’s go right into a bit extra element about how these timber are made.

And in the event you want a refresher on easy methods to look after weeping cherries, try our rising information.

What Makes Cherry Timber Weep?

That is going to assist us work out easy methods to deal with the state of affairs if we perceive what it’s that makes decorative cherry timber weep within the first place.

To do this, we have to talk about apical dominance.

Apical dominance means the tip of the principle, tallest shoot controls the dormancy and development of buds that sit decrease on the stem. They do that utilizing a hormone known as auxin.

Some species have sturdy apical dominance, that means they’re primarily composed of a single stem with little or no branching. Different vegetation present partial and even weak dominance. Sunflowers have sturdy apical dominance. Fuchsia has weak apical dominance.

A vertical shot of a young weeping cherry in full bloom with light pink blossoms.

Prunus species like decorative cherries are someplace on the a fan of sturdy dominance finish of the spectrum. Which means, if we disturb the principle rising stem by pruning it, it’s going to ship development hormone to decrease branches.

Growers benefit from this to pressure a tree to have a stronger weeping behavior than it might usually. They trim off the principle rising stem to pressure the auxins into the decrease branches and encourage weeping.

Then, there may be grafting.

All fashionable weeping cherries apart from some hybrid cultivars are grafted. There simply isn’t a cherry tree in nature that naturally has the acquainted weeping kind.

The grower will make a horizontal graft on the high of the stem of a rootstock tree to create that waterfall-like form that we so adore. The rootstock would produce upright development if it was allowed to develop naturally somewhat than having a special kind of tree grafted onto the highest.

However typically, grafted vegetation of all species will revert, which suggests the rootstock sends out development that overtakes the scion.

Let’s discuss this phenomenon subsequent, as a result of it’s the commonest motive for a weeping cherry to kind upright development.


As we talked about, until you might be rising sure cultivars, your plant was propagated by way of a way referred to as grafting.

And in case your tree is producing upright development within the cover, it’s normally an issue with reversion. Which means a grafted tree is making an attempt to return to its roots.

A horizontal image of a weeping cherry tree in full bloom with light pink flowers, pictured in light sunshine on a blue sky background.

Since these grafts are positioned greater up somewhat than simply above the roots on the crown, as with vegetation like roses, reversion can occur in a number of areas.

Wherever from the graft union down can produce upright development in step with what the rootstock species would have.

You possibly can normally see the graft union inside the principle mass of branches. It’s going to seem like an enormous, roundish, knobby development. In case you see straight stems rising anyplace under that knob, this is because of reversion.

Reverted stems are normally actually apparent as a result of the leaves will even look totally different from the remainder of the tree, as will the blossoms. These branches would possibly even bloom at a special time from the remainder. And these growths are normally rather more vigorous than the weeping components.

In case you catch them early, you’ll be able to simply reduce off the reverted stems and go about your day. Minimize them as shut and as cleanly as you’ll be able to to the expansion level.

Then, you’re going to want to maintain a pointy eye in your plant and prune it recurrently, as a result of these growths are going to maintain taking place. As soon as the rootstock will get a style of freedom, it isn’t about to present it up.

In case you neglect your duties and too many reverted stems begin to develop, you’ll lose the form of the tree, and it’ll basically develop into an upright cherry. You’ll have to purchase a brand new weeper if you wish to begin over.

Possibly these growths are taking a special kind? When reversion occurs on the floor degree, we name it suckering. We’ll discuss that subsequent.


Suckers go hand in hand with grafting. These are simply reversions that come instantly off the roots somewhat than the branches.

A tree that’s closely suckering is commonly one which has been significantly broken. Crops ship out suckers as a means of beginning new ones when the principle one is weakened.

Storm harm, overzealous pruning, pests, drought, illness, and another type of stress may cause suckers to kind.

Which means even after you take away the suckers – which it is best to do – it’s going to probably proceed to kind new ones.

If it’s continually forming numerous new suckers, you would possibly contemplate giving up on the tree. I do know it hurts, however at a sure level, you’re preventing a dropping battle.

That leads us to the least frequent type of upright development, one which can be associated to emphasize: water sprouts.

Water Sprouts

Water sprouts kind within the cover. As an alternative of rising on the root degree, these kind from the buds of the plant when a plant is burdened, which might be brought on by extreme pruning, drought, storm harm, or breakage.

Water sprouts might be troublesome to tell apart from reversion, however they need to be handled in the identical means: with the ol’ chop.

Water sprouts typically kind above the graft, although not all the time. If it occurs above the graft union, it’s undoubtedly water sprouts and never reversion that you just’re coping with.

That is usually the issue in the event you’re rising a specimen that isn’t grafted.

Generally All We Need Is a Good Weep

Usually, until you’re watching the Hallmark Channel, I’d say ordinary weeping is a foul factor. However on this case, it’s the very best!

And none of us need to see our decorative cherries go from a fountain of flowers to a barren bundle of sticks.

A horizontal photo of a sidewalk lined with weeping cherry trees.

Which downside are you going through along with your cherry? Do you could have one which’s making an attempt to revert again to the rootstock? Or perhaps yours is sending up stress suckers? Share your expertise within the feedback part under.

In case you’d wish to be taught a bit extra about our extra upright cherry tree associates, each flowering and fruiting, try these guides subsequent:

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