Q. I have a beautiful weeping cherry tree that has two branches growing straight up. I thought they would bend over and weep like the rest of the branches, but that does not appear to be the case. Is this normal? Should I cut those branches off, or will they eventually start to grow like the rest of the tree?
A. It is common for plants with weeping habits to send up a straight branch now and then. Weeping trees are usually grafted, and the straight growth is coming from the rootstock rather than the scion, or the desirable weeping portion.
It is important to remove them promptly. If you left them on the tree, the straight growth would overcome the weeping growth over time because it is usually faster growing.
Also, removing straight growth promptly means cutting off a smaller branch, while allowing it to grow for any length of time means leaving a large wound for the tree to heal.
Simply remove the straight growth at its point of origin. Make as clean a cut as you can, and avoid using pruning paint. Trees are able to heal clean pruning cuts on their own.
Pruning paint can actually interfere with the healing process.