There are a number of common diseases that the cherry tree is known to be susceptible to. Cherry trees are found throughout the States and Europe, and are prized for their delectable fruit, which ranges in color from pale yellow to deep red and in sweetness from taut and tart to tender and juicy. Additionally, cherry tree wood is strong and gorgeous and is a popular choice with furniture makers and interior designers. It is no small wonder that when the beautiful, delicious, and multi use cherry tree is prized by people, a variety of common garden pests and fungal elements may also have the cherry tree in sight. Here are several diseases to look out for when caring for your cherry tree to ensure its health.
This disease, one of the most common to all varietals of cherry tree, actually stems from the dual impact of two separate strains of bacteria. While Bacterial Canker may initially resemble Leaf Rot and other fungal infestations, the tell tale sign that Bacterial Canker is the culprit are the canker sores that develop on stems and branches, oozing an unpleasant smelling gum-like sap during Spring and Summer. In addition, Bacterial Canker shows itself in leaf spots and sores on fruits that quickly turn black and leave concave indentations. Treating Bacterial Canker requires a copper sulfate based spray and isolation and removal of infected branches and leaves, followed by disinfection of all implements used to treat the disease, as it is easily transmitted via surface contact. This serious disease can quickly turn lethal if left unchecked. Since the copper sulfate spray can affect the cherry fruit, it is important to spray carefully.
Leaf Spot can mimic Bacterial Canker upon initial appearance, first showing itself with white, brown and grey spots across sections of leafy branches. Leaves may yellow on the edges and drop suddenly, unwittingly spreading the fungus as they do so. Caused by a combination of humidity and an easily transmittable leaf tissue eating fungus, Leaf Spot too can be extremely dangerous to cherry trees if allowed to spread unchecked. To treat, remove all affected leaves and branches and spray with a fungicide.
Like most fungal diseases, humidity plays a major role in the development of Powdery Mildew, which can mildly resemble Leaf Spot with patches of white appearing before the leaves curl and drop. Pruning is a major deterrent to the development and spread of Powdery Mildew, which can be treated by removing all affected leaves and branches, including those that have already fallen, followed by a thorough dosing with a fungicide.
Yet another fungal illness, Brown Rot affects the entire tree system from leaves to blooms to fruits. Affected leaves and fruits quickly begin to display smaller size, a shriveled appearance, and the presence of a powdery brownish substance that coats the outer surfaces. This fungus is also easily spread via air, wind, and affected branches, so removal of all affected areas and fungal spray are essential components of treatment.