Gardening Answers

Damaged Ornamental Cherry Tree and Suckers

user-1156966604 | Posted in Mid-Atlantic Gardening on

I have a “medium” size tree of the Ornamental Cherry variety. It is about 2 foot at the base and maybe 20 foot tall.

The tree has had some animal damage from before I bought the property and it is seriously rotten out at the base from bark removal. There are very health suckers growing from near the original trunk. Can I carefully cut the trunk away leaving the stump at around ground level and let the sucker form into a new tree or will the old stump compromise the new trees stability and vigor? I assume growing from a sucker will allow the tree to regrow faster based on the extensive old root system.

the tree is a nice tree and we like it there but also would not be heart broken if i we had to get another tree.

if needed i can send pictures of the tree trunk damage and single sucker i saved from this years growth.


  1. user-1156966604 | | #1

    P.S. i took some of the suckers and am trying to grow them from hardwood cuttings as a experiment. in a nursery area i have in another section of the property.

  2. User avater Moderator
    LSweeney_moderator | | #2

    It is definitely possible to grow a new tree from the sucker, but I think there are a few things to consider. First, it's possible that your ornamental cherry is grafted which means the root suckers would not be the same type of tree. This might not matter to you, but if you were hoping to replace the tree with another like it, it's something to keep in mind. Another thought is that it might be quite the task to continuously prune and repress all the other suckers that are likely to keep sprouting. Finally, it's possible that the sucker will benefit from the old tree's root system as you suggested, but it's also possible the root system is uneven as a result of the original tree's damage and death which could lead to instability. In short, there are a lot factors at play, but you could certainly let it grow for a bit and see what happens. As far as your cutting experiment goes, here is a little article with some info:

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