When you look at a cherry tree, the leaves may be curled. This is not an uncommon sight. In fact, it is quite normal for cherry tree leaves to curl. But why do they do this? And what does it mean? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at why cherry tree leaves curl and what it means for the health of the tree.
Why Are My Cherry Tree Leaves Curling?
Cherry tree leaves can curl due to water scarcity, overwatering, abrupt temperature changes, or incorrect soil pH levels. The exact type of leaf curl will help determine the cause. For example, if the leaves are dry and brittle, then it is likely due to water scarcity. If the leaves are soft and mushy, then it is likely due to overwatering.
I will now go over each of these reasons in more detail so that you can better understand why your cherry tree leaves may be curling.
One of the most common reasons for cherry tree leaves to curl is due to overwatering. When the roots of a cherry tree are constantly inundated with water, they begin to suffocate. This lack of oxygen prevents the roots from taking in vital nutrients, which can cause the leaves to curl.
If you think your cherry tree may be overwatered, try letting the soil dry out for a few days and see if the leaves uncurl. If they do, then you know that you were watering too much.
Watering your cherry tree once a week should be sufficient. Water early in the morning so that the roots have time to absorb the water before it evaporates. Make sure to check the soil before watering to see if it is already moist.
Finally, make sure that your cherry tree has good drainage. If water is pooling around the roots, it can lead to problems even if you are not overwatering. Make sure there is a layer of gravel or sand under the soil to help with drainage.
While overwatering is a common problem, underwatering is also a problem that can cause cherry tree leaves to curl. If the roots of your cherry tree are not getting enough water, they will begin to dry out and the leaves will curl inwards as a result.
If you think your cherry tree may be underwatered, try watering it more frequently and see if the leaves uncurl. If they do, then you were not watering enough.
Test the soil before watering to see if it is dry. If it is, then water your cherry tree. Water early in the morning so that the roots have time to absorb the water before it evaporates.
Using mulch around your cherry tree can also help to retain moisture in the soil. Mulch will help to slow evaporation and keep the roots of your cherry tree moist. Simply apply a layer of mulch around the base of the tree.
3. Sudden Temperature Changes
Another common reason for cherry tree leaves to curl is sudden temperature changes. Cherry trees are sensitive to temperature fluctuations and if the leaves are exposed to extreme heat or cold, they will begin to curl.
If you think your cherry tree may be experiencing sudden temperature changes, try placing it in a location that is more protected from the elements. For example, if you live in an area with harsh winters, try placing your cherry tree near the house where it will be sheltered from the wind.
You can also try using a burlap wrap around the base of the tree. This will help to protect the roots from extreme temperatures. Simply wrap the burlap around the trunk of the tree and secure it with twine or wire.
4. Soil with a High pH Level
Another reason for cherry tree leaves to curl is soil with a high pH level. Soil with a high pH level is very alkaline and can cause the leaves of your cherry tree to curl.
If you think your soil may have a high pH level, you can test it with a soil testing kit. This will tell you the exact pH level of your soil and whether or not it is too alkaline.
If your soil is too alkaline, you can try adding compost or peat moss to help lower the pH level. Simply mix these amendments into the top few inches of soil around your cherry tree. You should see a difference within a few weeks.
Cherry trees are sensitive trees and even small changes in their environment can cause the leaves to curl. By understanding the reasons why cherry tree leaves curl, you can help to prevent it from happening.
Will Underwatering Cause Cherry Tree Leaves to Curl Inwards?
Yes, if the roots of your cherry tree are not getting enough water, they will begin to dry out and the leaves will curl inwards as a result. They do this to protect any more moisture loss from the leaves. You see, when the leaves curl inwards, it creates a microclimate for the leaf that is more humid.
Should I Prune Curling Cherry Tree Leaves?
No, you should not prune curling cherry tree leaves. The leaves are trying to protect the tree from further moisture loss and by pruning them, you will only cause more damage.
As long as you fix the underlying problem (whether it be overwatering, underwatering, soil with a high pH level, or sudden temperature changes), the leaves should uncurl on their own. This is nature’s way of protecting the tree.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why cherry tree leaves curl. The most common reason is due to overwatering or underwatering. However, other reasons include sudden temperature changes, soil with a high pH level, and pests. By understanding the reasons why cherry tree leaves curl, you can help to prevent it from happening.
If you think your cherry tree may be experiencing leaf curl, try to identify the underlying problem and take steps to fix it. Most importantly, do not prune the curling leaves as they are only trying to protect the tree. With a little care and attention, your cherry tree should be healthy and happy in no time! Thanks for reading!
Tim is an avid gardener from the UK. He was the founder of PlantCarer.com from 2021 to Sep 2023. He sold PlantCarer.com to Aaron. He has since started his own business called Seed To Supper, which provides new gardeners all the materials you need in a box (pots, seeds, compost and instructions) to grow your own delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs from start to finish – no garden required.