3 Potential Tree Disease That Target Cherry Trees

Posted on: 3 November 2015

Cherry refers to a genus of hundreds of types of trees that all share a fondness for cooler climates. They feature shiny dark bark with large horizontal slits that allow for the natural ventilation of the tree's wood. The ornamental leaves make cherry trees a prime decorative tree.

Keep your cherry tree looking beautiful by learning some of the common tree diseases that target cherry trees – and what you or a tree services company can to prevent further damage.  

Black Knot

Black knot, which is a disease caused by a fungus, results in hard swollen knobs on the branches. The knobs can start out small and are usually black or brown in color. If the disease is left untreated, the knobs can grow larger and become covered with a green mossy substance. The growths can become so large the branches become overburdened and fall off the tree.

Simply cutting away the areas where the knots are present can treat the disease. If the knots are on the verge of overburdening a branch, call in a tree trimming service to safely remove the branch and any other branches at risk.

Before the next growing season, apply fungicide to any remaining branches where the knobs alone were cut off. The fungicide should keep the knobs from returning next year.

Brown Rot

As the name suggests, the fungus-borne brown rot disease causes the fruits and blossoms of the cherry tree to prematurely whither. The blossoms will simply brown and fall off but the fruits can shrivel and become covered in a gray growth while still hanging on the tree. Oozing cankers can also form on the bark of branches.

The brown rot is mostly a cosmetic issue. Trim away any oozing branches or shriveled fruit on the affected tree. Before the next growing season, apply fungicide to the branches. When the blossoms start to reappear, apply fungicide during the growth process to prevent the withering from taking hold again.  

Necrotic Ring Spot

Ring spot is caused by a virus and as the necrotic part of the name suggests, this tree disease is potentially fatal. Symptoms will begin with the tree presenting smaller than usual leaves during the growing season. The presenting leaves will also look waxier and have a telltale dark ring. Eventually, the bark will start to split and the weakened branches will drop off the tree.

There is no way to reverse necrotic ring spot. Call in a tree removal service, like Darrel Emel's Tree Service, to fully remove the tree before the disease can spread to other trees.


Keeping Your Trees Healthy

About a year ago, I realized that our front trees were starting to look a little funny. Some of the leaves were wilted, but we weren't anywhere near autumn. The bark on the trunk also seemed to be rotting away, which was frustrating and disappointing. Fortunately, a friend of mine told me to call a professional arborist for help. He came out, inspected the trees, and injected some special pesticides into the trunk. Within a few months, they started to look a lot better. Our arborist also trimmed our trees to reduce the weight load on the branches and to improve their shape. Check out this blog for information about tree trimming.