cherry tree

Common Cherry Tree Diseases and their treatments

Some common cherry tree diseases include Black Knot, Cherry Leaf Spot, Brown Rot, Cryptospora Canker, Powdery Mildew, and Necrotic Ringspot. Every spring, we see the light pink blossoms on every lawn; however, it has a high risk of having several cherry tree diseases. As a gardener, you should know these diseases and treatment options. 

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In this article, we will discuss the common cherry tree diseases, the causes, prevention and treatment of the same. The presence of these diseases is scary as they can harm the trees. However, when you see the cherry tree growing with higher preventive measures, these tend to keep the infections at bay to give a good bloom allowing zesty harvest. Now, let us check the common ones along with the treatment option here, have a look: 

What are the common tree diseases and their treatments? 

Some of the common tree diseases are as under; let us check the details: : 

Black Knot 

One of the common cherry tree diseases is Black Knot or Dibotryon morbosum, which affects these trees a lot, particularly edible, ornamental and native types. However, some varieties of cherry trees like East Asian cherry, Prunus maackii (Manchurian cherry or Amur chokecherry), and North Japanese hill cherry are disease-resistant trees. 

Symptoms: Black knots are visible as black and hard knots or swellings that can stretch upto 6 inches on the tree. Also, the knots may appear in different areas all over the tree. It enlarges when the diseases are left untreated. This fungal growth may hide the knots, while the diseased twigs can bend due to overgrowth. The infected branches turn dry without any leaves and thus get killed at the end. 

Causes: We see mature knots producing spores in spring and summer. The wind and rain carry the black knot fungus spores only to the vulnerable plants. Spores can infect the new plants within six hours in wet conditions and optimal temperatures. We see the light brown swellings appearing over the infected twigs during the fall. During the following spring, we see growing knots that further develop some olive-green fungal growth. Finally, in the upcoming summer, the knots become black, rough and hard. 

Treatment – To fix these issues, you can prune by 3-4 inches below the knot in the dormant season. You need to sterilize the pruning equipment and then burn or bury the infected material, or else it can infect the healthy trees. Also, you can remove cherry trees that can have some severe infection. The infection is mainly seen during April to June, while the risks include black knots that can limit the cherry’s production, which can further ruin the aesthetic part of the ornamental cherry trees. 

Brown Rot

Brown rot

The next on this list is brown rot, also known as Monilinia fructicola. It affects trees like Kwanzan flowering cherry tree. Besides, it also affects many stone fruits like plum trees and peaches. This disease only attacks the tree during the bloom time, while it can put the fruits at risk by infecting them all. Now, look at the symptoms, causes and treatment options as under: 

Symptoms: Some common signs you will notice include the browning of blossoms and the death of twigs. All the infected leaves and twigs collapse while attaching to the trees. During favorable weather conditions for this disease, one may find the powdery masses visible over the infected twigs, flowers and fruits. 

Causes: If you find the infected blossoms not getting dropped away, there is a risk of spreading this infection from one flower to another twig. These then develop cankers that produce fungal spores of the ailment. You can find this disease thriving the best during wet and warm conditions, which further causes infection to occur mostly in three hours. We can see the insects acting like a spreading agent for fungal diseases. 

Treatment: Once brown rot targets the tree, you may not find any curable treatment option for the fruit; however, pruning the infected spots in the tree with the help of any sanitized pruning tools for around 6 inches can make the tissues as dead. You need to burn or bury these pruned materials only to prevent infection from spreading around the tree. The next treatment is thinning, which can help in boosting up the airflow and help to gain a drier environment only to stop the fungus. If you find the infection unmanageable, you can use fungicides to get rid of it. 

Cherry Leaf Spot

leaf spot

The next on this list is cherry leaf spot, also known as Blumeriella jaapii, which attracts tart, English and sweet Moerllo Cherries. These are primarily visible somewhere in May and June. The cherry tree having severe infection can deteriorate by mid-summer. This can cause unripe fruit to have poor taste. We find these trees more vulnerable to winter injury, loss of fruit, dead fruit spurs, weak buds and even tree death. 

Symptoms: This disease infects the leaves of cherry trees, which may appear on leaf petioles and fruit pedicels. Several small size purple spots develop on the upper side of the leaf. All these spots will enlarge to around 1/4-inch in diameter, which converts into a reddish-brown color. These spots will fall down once they are dry, which takes around 6-8 weeks. It ends up creating small holes in the leaf, while at times, the older infected leaves may become golden yellow before falling off. The cherry leaves are infected with cherry leaf spots that may fall prematurely. 

Causes: This disease is mainly seen during the early spring making the leaves dead. During the early days of springs, we see the fruiting bodies develop mainly on the leaves, producing spores. The rainfall spreads all these spores to healthy leaves, where spores are seen germinating and penetrating the leaf. These are mostly seen over the leaf once it infects them, while the spots are developed with the undersides that are seen growing the fungal spores that appear like whitish pink underleaf lesions. 

Treatment: All you need to do is to collect all the fallen leaves and destroy them to prevent the fungus from overwintering. It can help remove the leaves for an effective solution for backyard cherry that can help grow the trees. But it can help add up the limitations for many more big-time cherry orchards. It helps plant the cherry tree to give direct sunlight and allow good air circulation. Using fungicides is an effective method to fix this problem for big-size lawns or commercial orchards. 

Cytospora Canker

Cytospora Canker

The next disease on your list is Cryptocanker, also known as Leucostoma Kunze, among the most lethal diseases against sweet and sour cherries. These are visible during the summer when the temperature goes beyond 90 degrees. One of this disease’s risks is killing certain parts of the cherry tree. 

Symptoms: Some of the signs include developing a dry and depressing canker that brings the tree branch to wilt. Any amber-coloured gum will only appear over the edge of the canker while it eventually girdles the limb, and it can even cause death. 

Causes: Some causes include black pychindia, spore-producing structures that appear on the canker. All these will become overtime during the humid condition; spore masses will be expelled from pycnidia. Both the wind and rain can carry these spores. You can find the wind and rain spreading to infect the bark wound. All these wounds can result in issues like old cankers, sunburn and wood boring insects. 

Rain and wind carry the spores to infect any bark wound. These wounds may result from sunburn, old cankers, or wood-boring insects. However, a healthy and undamaged bark remains strong against the disease. The vulnerabilities of the cherry tree can go up when there is stress that goes up from drought and nutrient deficiency, to name a few. 

Treatment: You may not find any chemical control for this disease. You can control the infection by limiting the tree stress. You can prune the infected cherry tree only during the growing season when it is simple to find out the cankers and limbs having dieback. 

Treatment: There is no chemical control for Cytospora canker. Control infection by limiting tree stress. Prune your infected cherry tree during the growing season when it’s easier to identify the cankers and limbs with dieback.

Necrotic Ringspot

Necrotic Ringspot

The last in this list includes Necrotic Ringspot, which attacks both sour and sweet cherries. It can hamper your tree’s growth and kill the twigs, foliage and buds. It can even cause some fruit losses that reach upto 15% in sweet cherries giving upto 100% peaches. 

Symptoms: Some known signs of this disease are the browning and yelling of the cherry leaves. These leaves can develop holes, and it can even give them a shothole appearance. The leaves often drop during the early summer, and the cherry fruit can mature at a later stage than usual.

The spread of this disease can even reduce the sweet cherries more than the sour cherries. We can see the raised projections of enations forming the underside of leaves, giving a stiff and thick appearance. 

Causes: The disease often enters the pollen, wood grafting and seed. Both the pollinators and win are infected, making the entire orchard affected. 

Treatment: It helps remove the symphonic trees only to avoid spreading many more cherry trees. 

When should you call a pro?

Calling a licensed professional near you is the basic step you should consider for saving your cherry tree. Calling a professional should be your next step if you notice any of the above disease symptoms. They have the experience and skills to address these problems and keep diseases at bay. 

In conclusion, consulting a pro like Eden is always a good idea. With Eden, you get certified professionals skilled enough to treat these diseases in your cherry tree. Call Eden for more details. 

Enjoy a beautifully manicured lawn with our timely yard work services that care for your yard according to the season. Call us today!

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