These three ornamental cherries were planted almost a decade ago when this community was originally created. They have received annual pruning as do all of the ornamental cherries in the neighborhood. As you can see, the two cherries on the left have put on more than 2 feet of growth this year. The cherry on the right has branches which have not increased in size and are now chlorotic (yellowing).
This along with other symptoms is evidence of girdling roots. These roots may not have been an issue when the tree was planted, but as the root and the trunk increase in diameter, they have begun to press against each other. This restricts the flow of nutrients to the leaves and energy to the roots. Next year this tree will likely not blossom like the other cherries nearby. Over time this tree may decline due to secondary pests or diseases.
Until the root zone is excavated and the girdling root severed and removed if possible, this tree will always stand out from the rest. Call a certified arborist today if you notice similar symptoms shown by a tree in your landscape.