There Is Unrest In The Forest, There Is Trouble With The Trees

The band Rush said it best, and it’s true. There’s trouble in tree paradise around here, and momma ain’t happy about it. About three years ago we planted three fruit trees in front of our garden, a pear, cherry and plum. For the last two years they all bloomed beautifully.

Then it happened. This year while the other two were budding, the cherry tree didn’t. I thought maybe the roots got choked. Or too much water formed. But we have good soil with good drainage, that couldn’t be it. I am so new at fruit trees that I feel completely in the dark about what’s going on, despite researching a ton.

Then. Andy came in and said, “I think we have a problem, I can snap the branches. It’s dead.”

After analyzing again, we realized there was still play in about half to three-quarters of the branches, just a few were clearly gone to the orchard in the sky. But now I’m pretty concerned not only for the welfare of the cherry tree, but for all of the other fruit trees including the apple and pear trees we planted last year in a separate part of the yard. The photos below are where my concern stems from-no pun intended, and it’s getting worst.

Damage on the leader

I’ve looked up every disease I can find for a black cherry tree and none of them look like this except maybe, maybe silver leaf. Here are some more shots.

Where the trunk meets the ground.
Trunk just above where branches start.
Trunk. Top left of the wound is where I cut a sucker off last year I believe-I'm pretty sure that black mark wasn't there.

And then there is this, which I spotted after carefully staring at the tree for a while. A weird white spot that looked like it was on the surface. The camera is focused in right on it, to the right of the bud.

White Spot On Cherry Tree

And finally, branch discoloration. Is this normal? I’ve never noticed it before but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been there all along.

Cherry Tree Branch discoloration

After all of this, I started inspecting the other trees, especially my plum tree and I gulped. The same plum tree I just fertilized and put saw dust around. How I didn’t see this before, or think, “that’s not right” I don’t know. I honestly have no idea what I’m looking at, but it doesn’t look good. Maybe this is normal, but it doesn’t look normal.

Plum Tree Trunk

The rest of my plum tree is beautiful though, with what looks like no damage to the branches like the cherry has.

Finally, the pear. It’s not blooming as much as it did last year, but this tree despite being a dwarf has always seemed slightly more stunted than it should.

Pear Trunk
Pear Branch
Pear Bloom

Someone please tell me I’m paranoid, this is normal, and whatever has taken my cherry tree hostage hasn’t destroyed my other trees. Unless that’s not the truth. I’m at a loss. Thank God for MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association) as they help me try to figure this out. Which is part of the reason I wrote this post. If any of you have suggestions though, speak up. . I need real proven knowledge from those who have dealt with it.



7 thoughts on “There Is Unrest In The Forest, There Is Trouble With The Trees

  1. I have no knowledge of plants and how to care for them – but I will keep my fingers crossed that your little trees make it through this rough patch! 🙂

    I haven’t been able to see your updated posts in my google reader. Do you know if anyone else has this problem? Whenever I try to click on your page in my reader, it says the most recent post is from Sept 2011. It’s easy enough for me to just view your site directly but I thought I would let you know in case I wasn’t the only oddball that wasn’t able to view through reader! 🙂

    1. Thanks for crossing your fingers for me, Lizzy! I’m hoping we don’t have to uproot them and burn them. 🙁 Worst case scenario.

      Boo on the feeder! This is the first I heard of it. I ran my feed through a couple validators and they seem to be pulling, and I know the feed is pulling and publishing onto Facebook. I just googled around real quick though and came across this, so maybe it’s something in the reader?


  2. I’m having the same problem through blogger. It’s not telling me when you’ve posted something new. So, I just go directly to your site everyday. 🙂

    I know nothing about plants, but I hope you figure out soon what’s going on with your trees.

    1. Son of a bee sting! You caught me with my pants down—I don’t know much about the readers and how they work, except that my feed seems to be validated, so now I’m going to have to do some sleuthing. Also can I just say that I had no idea there were people who visited my site every day?! You just gave me butterflies in my stomach and blushy awkward cheeks (and I love it). Thank you! I’ll definitely try to see if the feed thing is something I can fix for you guys.

      Thanks for the well wishes on the trees! I really wanted some cherry’s too and we were only a year or two out from getting them! Darnit!


    2. Alright Ladies – let’s see if this helps. Everything is showing as pulling normally for me (when I look with the web and subscribe myself under a different personal account), but I’m wondering if the feed somehow changed? I’m remembering there was some weird feed issue last year, and I’m wondering if that’s what screwed it up. Maybe try unsubscribing and then resubscribing so it catches the new feed? It should be:

      I think it used to be like Feed1 or something. Uhg. I’m so sorry I’m not more helpful. I wish I could see the issue you guys are. Everything is showing up okay for me though. I bet it was that feed thing from a while back. Thank you SO MUCH for letting me know about this issue. I’m going to keep looking into it. If I find a solution I’ll post it on my Facebook page.


    3. I just opened google reader again and it showed your five most recent posts as if they were new. I can let you know what happens next time you post! Ha!

    4. Awesome! Thank’s Lizzy. I think it was an rss widget I had in here that was messing it up. The feed on the widget was totally different than what feedburner was trying to pull, and I don’t even know why I had it. Fingers are crossed! Thanks again for letting me know, I really appreciate it.


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