Sweet cherry trees are large leafy trees that grow full of delicious red fruit during the warmer months. Whether you have a large traditional sweet cherry tree out in an orchard or a dwarf tree in a small garden box, the addition of this type of tree can bring you both visual appeal and a season of tasty eating. You need to conduct frequent maintenance on cherry trees to keep the leaves and fruit growing healthily while checking for any signs of impending tree diseases.
Here are a few of the tree diseases that can affect sweet cherry trees – and how you can keep the diseases from causing further damage once symptoms appear.
Cherry Leaf Spot
Cherry leaf spot is a fungal disease that presents with damage and eventual premature shedding of leaves. The initial symptom of cherry leaf spot is reddish sores forming on the surface of leaves. Over time, the spots grow larger and darker with accompanying white fuzz forming after a rain. The leaves will then turn yellow and brown and fall from the tree.
Call in a tree trimming company to thoroughly prune away any affected leaves. Make sure the leaves are disposed of well away from the tree to prevent reinfection. Fungicide can then be used to treat the tree to further ensure that the disease doesn't come back.
Fungus-born cytospora canker is a destructive and dangerous disease for cherry trees. Initial symptoms are small round sore-like openings on bark near a previous tree injury. The sores or cankers will start to grow and widen until resembling a stretched oval. The bark inside the canker will turn dark and wet and can start to seep.
Fungicide can help prevent the canker from worsening. Ask your tree trimming service to remove any existing cankers and any branches that have damage regardless of whether cankers have already appeared. If the cankers have spread throughout the tree and you have other stone fruit trees nearby, consider having a tree removal company completely eliminate the cherry tree and the threat of disease spreading.
Powdery mildew is a mostly cosmetic problem for cherry trees infected by the fungus. Early in the growing season, the leaves will seem smaller, paler, and more curled than in previous seasons. Left untreated, the mildew will cause white fuzz to form on the surface of the leaves, which can lead to premature yellowing and dropping.
The disease is highly treatable using fungicide. Keep an eye on the tree during the next growing season and apply fungicides early if the leaves show symptoms again.