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Branches of cherry tree missing leaf growth

United Kingdom Gb

We planted an ornamental cherry tree in our back garden five years ago and have left it to grow as it wanted. This year I have noticed that there are no leaves or blossoms sprouting on the old growth of branches which makes the tree look odd and I don't know if this is normal? We'd like to prune it back to add more shape and now my oh wants to just dig it out which I don't want to do. I'm just a novice gardener so have no clue where to go for help or advice. Thanks.

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Hi Gena and welcome to GoY. Could you take a photo of the tree and add it to your question please. Could you also give some info on the soil it is growing in and where you are in the UK.

29 Apr, 2015


Welcome to Goy, Gena. I look forward to seeing a photo too. I really hope you don't have to dig up the tree, they are such lovely ones.

29 Apr, 2015


Hello Gena,
It has been a very dry spring in most places so maybe your tree got dry. I have a Japanese cherry from which I had to remove 2 dead branches this year but that was because next door's ivy had smothered them where they had stretched over the fence. My tree has been in for 8 years and has blossomed particularly well this year. If you planted it at the right depth and with decent compost it might be ok. (I have thick clay here),but it would be a good idea to put on a photo and listen to Moongrower!

30 Apr, 2015


Hi Gena, could you also add a photo of the whole tree please as the one you've added shows a lot of blossom.

30 Apr, 2015


Photo uploaded. Thanks and appreciate any advice you can give me.

1 May, 2015


Cherries, like many of our trees flower before they produce their leaves - this looks pretty normal to me. Come autumn you ca certainly prune to a more pleasing shape if you wish to but don't do until then or you will stress the tree.

1 May, 2015


Looks normal to me too - what a shame it would be to dig it out, its fine. You can't expect flowers all the way along every branch.

When you prune it try cutting back the long bare branches at the top, but not too drastically. This should encourage buds to form lower down the branch.

You needed to decide what shape you want your tree to be - do you want it tall with a long trunk or wide and more bush like? this will influence which bits you cut off.
Have a look at
where you'll find lots of links to other advice pages about pruning cherries.

2 May, 2015

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