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Beginner Gardening: indianabanana picture (New cherry tree seems thirsty all the time)

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Subject: New cherry tree seems thirsty all the time

Forum: Beginner Gardening

indianabanana wrote:
I've been meaning to join these forums forever, and it looks like the number of questions I have finally spurred me on to do it. So first of all, hi!

Here's the first among many questions: We put in a young cherry tree last fall, and it bloomed in the spring right on schedule. The leaves came out and looked good for a while, but it has been unusually dry this month. I don't just mean that it hasn't rained, I mean that the air itself has been dry, so water evaporates from the ground really quickly. The tree is in our front yard which we never water, and we assumed that the tree would have gotten established over the (warm, moist) winter and wouldn't need much watering. We had a warm spring with just the right amount of rainfall. But this month, we had a week and a half or so with no rain, and then a week with lots of rain, and now a week with no rain again. During all of those weeks, the tree has looked the same amount of thirsty, even when we watered, and even when it rained a lot.

I'm not sure if we made a mistake by not watering regularly all month or if something else is wrong with the tree. The leaves are folding inward along the central vein and the leaves are a bit lighter shade of green than I imagine they should be. There isn't much visible sign of blight - a couple chews here and there, a couple of spots here and there, but nothing overwhelming. New shoots are still coming out as the tree grows.

Is this just year one in the life of a young transplant? Should we still be watering daily? Or should we just trust the process and expect it to look nicer next year?

Also, our soil pH is neutral leaning towards alkaline (I don't have the exact number in front of me). Our native perennials grow beautifully in this soil with very little watering. The dirt is rich and holds moisture well, at least for the perennials. I have noticed, however, that the leaves on our dogwood are showing signs of some kind of nutrient deficiency - the area around the veins on each leaf is nice and green, but the spaces between the veins are lighter green. I imagine some sort of soil amendments are in order, and I wonder if the cherry could be suffering from the same deficiency (and I wonder if it's related to pH). But the cherry's leaves do NOT show the same discoloration, and I don't know how different its needs are.

There's as much information as I can think of to give! I'll try to post a picture when I get a chance. Thanks for your help!

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