Don’s Expert Answers: Something is rotting away at the bottom of my cherry tree trunk

Question From: 
Tracey in  Frankston ,  Melbourne  VIC


Nature of problem: 
Something is rotting away at the bottom of my cherry tree trunk


Type of Plant (if known): 
Weeping cherry blossom


Symptoms of Plant Illness (please try NOT to diagnose your problems yourself): 
Rotting trunk from bottom upward


Soil Type (e.g. sandy, clay or loam) OR Potting Mix Type: 
Not sure


How often do you water the plant:
Every week


How many hours of sunlight does the plant get each day:


What type of plant is it:
Weeping cherry blossom


How long since you planted it:
6 years


Have you fertilised? If so, with what and when:
Yes. Osmocote, tree food


Is the plant indoors or outdoors: 


Is the plant in a pot or in the ground: 


What other treatments have you given the plant: 
Seasol & powerfeed, occasionally

Upload photo if available: 

Other Comments: 
Could it be ants ?


Answer: Leave the poor bloody ants alone Tracey! Ants are good guys who help aerate the soil etc. But You! You put evil black gunk around the poor tree’s roots. Remove the evil. Your tree has a fungal decay caused by the evil gunk and perhaps other soil issues – it has about a 50/50 chance of recovering. After removing the gunk, aerate the soil by plunging a garden fork into the ground every 7cm. Water it with a sprinkler for 30-45 mins once each week until winter. Get some Yates Anti Rot and apply it right away as per instructions. If all else fails, buy a new cherry and move to the Dandenongs, as cherries grow better in this area.  Good luck,  Don