I planted a sweet cherry tree late last Spring and it’s basically in a hole. Now that we’ve had flooding rains, I see that it is at the edge of a low area that occasionally floods, and in a hole. I’m wondering if it should be and can be moved. It has been vigorous but it also had what may have been a borer. It seems that if it was at the nursery and kept an extra year if would be dug up now anyway. The area usually doesn’t have water and when it does it’s not for a very long time. This time is different…and it’s in a hole. It’s supposed to not rain for a few days, but there will probably be water in the hole after the ‘lake’ is gone. Suggestions?
The red arrow is the cherry tree; the green square is a blueberry (probably OK, I guess). I started bringing in some dirt from around the area to raise this area…probably pointless…it’s going to be the new garden location.
I would move it. That low spot is no good for stone fruit. I have large stone fruit trees in a frost pocket that are living on borrowed time. Low ground will have more bacterial problems even if the water drains.
If it is still in flood when it begins to grow it will drown within a couple weeks, but it is conditions during the growing season that will likely make or break the tree. I have grown trees for nursery purposes in a clay soil that always had water pooled on the top in early spring but it drained quickly enough that trees could grow well there- even peach trees, which are the neediest when it comes to well drained soil.
You are in western Oregon so it will be a while before the tree begins to grow. If it does so when the soil is mud (even if the water has drained) I would move the tree at first sign of growth.
Or I’d just move it to a spot with better drainage, period. .
@39thparallel is right, there are big problems there. Cherry trees die very quickly in standing water and they will not tolerate it whatsoever in my experience. In areas that are wet but don’t have standing water as he mentioned will succumb to fungal and bacterial problems in our area. Stone fruits can be a real pain in this area due to wild cherries that harbor disease with sweet cherries being one of the toughest.
Thanks for the encouragement, one and all. I will move it. I have two possible locations where it would be better off. One is shown in the new photo (yellow rectangle); one is 100 feet to the left, in what has been the garden but now will be for more fruits, nuts, berries, with the water zone to be the new garden…hopefully, built up somewhat like luxin recommends. The other maroon arrow behind the one to be moved is another cherry tree in about the same situation, but not in a hole, but it is 6 ft. tall and just going to have to tough it out. The tree in question is less than 3 feet tall (blue line). The ground here is wet here a lot; my whole little orchard area is an experiment. Thanks again for the incentive.
My garden was very wet like that many years ago and I hauled in 6 end dumps of cow manure and raised it about 3 feet. At the time it cost $150 per load and was worth every penny. There were dairy farms in my area then when my county still encouraged farming so I got it from 1 mile down the road. Nowadays Kansas is more into residentual housing. They actually consider my house a subdivision even though I own 35 acres. the 3 dairy farms within a mile of me all went bankrupt.
I’ll look into dealing with that low spot. It is going to take a bunch of something to fill it in. 1/2 ‘n’ 1/2 forest humus and composted manure would be mighty groovy. But that is going to have to wait. Notice that in the two photos less than 24 hours apart (with some rain in between) the water level dropped a fair amount. That area only has standing water after an actual flood…there is a creek in the trees; or a very serious few days of rain, even without a flood. It drains pretty quickly but also the water table is high and the ground is pretty wet through late Fall, Winter and Spring. The new cherry tree is still planted badly re: of anything else. I do hope to fill in that area eventually…for now I gotta get the tree out. I’m going to be on the lookout for free (but good) stuff for the fill. Thanks for the excellent suggestions. This is my neighbor’s place across the road in about 6 weeks.