'Plant Nuts', like myself, often succumb to beauty instead of logic. I surrendered to the allure of the fluffy light pink, frilly flowers of the Shirofugen ornamental flowering Japanese cherry. I can’t blame anyone but myself for picking out such an unsuitable tree for the backyard. I did check its mature height and width before purchasing and I knew it was going to be a bit tight with a canopy of 20 feet, or so I thought. I recently found out that in these parts of the world, their canopies often reach 30 feet – oops! And, if it’s planted in an ideal location, it will grow with gusto becoming bigger than the norm. Apparently, that place is in my back yard… It is so happy there - engulfing the garden. For a 6 year old tree, it’s quite impressive for its age. It has grown fast, very fast, like it’s on steroids.
I would be happy with my Shirofugen if size was its only issue, but the roots send out suckers – everywhere – argh! – up to 50 feet away! This tree also has some serious roots that erupt out of the ground. Now the backyard is an impressive obstacle field as it is full of tripping hazards.
Since plants are my thing, I am not ignorant of the issues with ornamental cherry trees; I know they are shallow rooted and their roots tend to be hazardous. I also know that they grow fast but I really miscalculated this tree’s zest for life with raised roots the width of 2 by 4’s.
So why is this tree such a monster? Well, it’s not just happy in its space, it is also grafted like most flowering cherries. I suspect it’s rootstock is rambunctiously dominant. This explains the huge roots raising up the lawn and the suckers that appear far away from the tree itself. It also explains the size of the canopy and its ultra-fast growth.
Due to the fact that we can no longer walk near and around the tree without stumbling, it has to come out. It is such a sad, sad thing to remove it, but it is just too dangerous, and the suckers everywhere are a real pain. They are coming up into the veggie beds – such horrors! But it is a beautiful tree and we will miss its gorgeous flowers that smother their branches with their loveliness.
It is always a sad time when trees no longer fit their space. This is why research and experience are important tools to help with planting the right plant in the right place. I obviously have to practice what I preach instead of pushing that envelope! Being a plant nut, I should know better, but sometimes you fall in love and all common sense goes out the window. I’m chalking it up to a learning experience… and I’ll leave it at that!
Here are some of my previous blog postings. They cover a wide range of topics from bugs to my botanical excursions and conventions. Click on whichever interests you on the titles below for easy navigation.