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Over a small lawn, we have a well established flowering cherry in an attractive umbrella shape. This year it did not flower prolifically as we have come to expect, and the new leaves are not as dense as usual. We live in Pakuranga, Auckland, and take a pride in our garden. The lawns are fertilised regularly and watered from November to March.

I wonder if the cherry has had enough of lawn fertiliser – or was the Spring too wet and miserable this year? If I were to try to help the cherry by adding potash, would that then upset the lawn? Maybe I should do nothing and wait to see what happens next Spring? Your guidance would be appreciated.
Thank you
Regards
HELEN BELCHER

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Hi Helen, Because it is a reasonably established tree (i.e. the roots are well spread over a larger area) I don’t think a fertiliser like potash will have any effect on the flowering cherry. It might be a case of the winter wasn’t cold enough to initiate the flowering, it is however a concern that the leaves aren’t as dense as usual. Ensure the lawn doesn’t grow right up to the trunk as mowing and weed eaters often damage the trunk of trees. Best to have a diameter of 1m of Compost/mulch to maintain healthy soil environment around the tree. Also ensure there is no root stock growth (fast growing branches from the base of the tree, these need to be removed. You can use a liquid organic fertiliser and soak the soil around the tree to also help improve the soil quality (and does no harm to the lawn.) Thanks the Palmers Team

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Hello Emma
Many thanks for your answer. I rub off any young leaves that dare to appear on the trunk of the umbrella cherry. Yes, the lawn does come up to the base of the trunk, but I cut it back – with scissors! I will check with my lawnmowing husband that he is not hitting the trunk in the process. I think not, as there is no visible damage. I have Earthcare’s Seasol which I will apply as suggested. Thanks for the reassurance that the lawn will be okay.
I appreciate your help.
Regards
HELEN BELCHER

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