It is a silly mistake to disregard the severe damage rendered by fungi to the cherry crop; you could even get nothing except for the yield loss if not implementing proactive measures.
But to do so, you need to know about the cherry tree fungus identification.
Suppose you lack knowledge about this tiny but serious threat; this article is a perfect site to land on, as I will present lots of helpful information about several diseases induced by this fungus.
Keep scrolling down for more details!
About The Cherry Tree Fungus
As its name suggests, the fungus on cherry tree blights several parts of the plant, especially its leaves, fruits, and roots. More specifically, it is the main culprit behind sour cherry berries.
Of course, you don’t want to purchase a sour cherry, right? In other words, due to these abnormal fruits, the crop’s productivity is greatly reduced, and farmers cannot make a profit by selling them.
This fungus loves cold temperatures, particularly the winter, so New England and Canada are their favorite destinations, as temperatures are pretty mild and cold throughout the year.
It often overwinters in dead or tilted leaves that fall on the ground. Some fungi species are produced in the cherry fruiting bodies and forcibly made during the rainy season, lasting between 6 and 8 weeks.
Do You Know About The Cherry Tree Fungus Identification?
The cherry tree fungus is so small that you cannot see it with the naked eye.
Hence, the best identification way is looking at the “marks” it leaves on your cherry plant, especially on the foliage, like yellow or black spots on the leaves.
The most common sign is the yellowing of leaves, which easily fall before the winter comes.
They turn a bright yellow color instead of a normal green hue because of deprived nutrients, and a fungus has absorbed them all.
Another sign of identification is the appearance of several black lesions on cherry leaves. Their formation is primarily attributed to the fungi’s bites.
And if you don’t take action to prevent them, these spots tend to spread towards other tree’ parts.
But when your plant’s leaves are filled with numerous holes, they can no longer develop, so it would be best to prune and take them away.
What Are The Common Cherry Tree Diseases And The Solutions?
There are numerous cherry blossom tree diseases; the most common is silver leaf when the foliage displays a deadly silver color, seriously lacking energy.
Besides, you should pay close attention to black knots and cherry leaf spots, which could jeopardize the tree’s growth if not treated well.
To help you better prepare for these worse scenarios, this section will present the 9 common flowering cherry tree diseases induced by cherry fungi, and I will also include possible solutions to each problem.
As mentioned earlier, silver leaf is mainly triggered by a cherry fungus. It is a severe infection that feeds on the wood and foliage of a cherry tree.
More specifically, when your tree runs into this trouble, there is a silvery sheen on the leaf’s surface, and you will likely imagine it as a zombie plant.
If not treated well, the leaves won’t have any nutrients to feed on, followed by dead branches.
Yet, are you ever curious about how fungi enter the plant? It often does so through the bark wounds or scratches, which are often made by pruning.
How to solve
The best solution to this cherry tree blight is to pay attention to pruning. You’d better prune your plant gently so as not to create any scratches on its body, particularly stems and branches.
Once the tree is infected, cut and remove the infected areas as soon as possible.
Black knot is a worry to the Prunus varieties, including North Japanese hill cherry, Amur chokecherry, East Asian cherry, etc. This issue mainly stems from mature knots.
They are often carried by the wind and rain. Knots can grow fast; they only need about six hours in a damp environment to germinate and infect your cherry plant by creating several black pores.
These pores are black and so hard that they cannot easily be removed from the tree’s leaves and branches. Without proper measures, they still live on your plant, taking up its nutrients before nothing is left.
How to solve
Under this circumstance, you must prune it frequently, about once a month, and the pruning cut should be about 3-4 inches below the knot.
Remember to sterilize pruning equipment carefully after completing the process.
Cherry Leaf Spot
Cherry leaf spot has another scientific name, Blumeriella Jaapii. It often attacks the sweet cherry species, particularly the English Morello plant.
Its favorite spot is the undersides of leaves. First, some purple spots will appear, which are so small that you can’t see them.
Over time, these spots start to enlarge, reaching an inch in diameter and showing a reddish-brown hue of color. They look quite similar to black spots on pepper leaves.
Finally, after a few weeks, their centers dry up and turn black before falling out, creating several tiny holes in the leaves. When you notice them, that means the foliage is devastatingly damaged.
How to solve
To prevent this from happening next time, gathering and destroying every infected leaf is highly recommended.
Besides, keep removing dead leaves regularly to create exposure space for other tree parts.
Powdery mildew is commonly caused by different species of ascomycete fungi, which often feed on the wild cherry.
This is one of the easiest plant diseases to identify, as you can easily notice white powdery spots on the stems and branches, reminiscent of white spots on green bean leaves.
Powdery mildew particularly likes the lower leaves. As the disease progresses, the spots tend to enlarge and become denser due to the formation of various fungal spores.
The mildew might spread up and infect other parts of your healthy tree, leading to the sudden plant death.
How to solve
Applying early irrigation is advisable because damp and humid conditions are a perfect breeding ground for the premature powdery mildew.
Apart from that, you’d better apply fungicide, yet everything needs to be in moderation.
Cytospora canker is a bad nightmare to every sour and sweet cherry species.
It mainly targets the tree’s branches, especially branches of some seedlings, because they are quite weak and need more time to grow bigger.
First, the depressed and dark cankers will appear on the branches, making them wilt after a couple of days.
Then, an amber-colored gum begins to appear on the cankers’ edge, which girdles the limb and eventually results in its death.
Your tree is even more vulnerable to this disease if it lacks water due to drought stress or undergoes nutrient deficiency, especially the potassium shortage.
How to solve
It would be best to provide it with more nutrients and water by applying fertilizer moderately and regular watering. This should be combined with pruning to maximize the preventive effectiveness.
Crown rot is primarily rendered by a fungal disease called Phytophthora. This is a serious menace to every cherry plant, damaging the roots next to the soil line.
The initial symptom of crown rot is the dry rotting; you could feel it has been burned and looks like lava. Then, it will spread to the lateral branches and even the rest of your plant if not treated properly.
These infected areas are usually discolored, displaying dark or tan hues, which are a clear indicator of dead tissues.
As crown rot progresses, your ornamental cherry tree starts to wilt and die quickly within a few weeks.
How to solve
Unfortunately, there are no effective solutions to get rid of this problem. Suppose you detect it soon, relocating your plant to other soils is advisable.
Remember that the ground should be well-draining, as dampness is the favorable condition for the crown rot.
Crown gall is often regarded as a tree cancer disease. Indeed, it is caused by a dangerous fungus that will be absorbed into the DNA of healthy cherry trees.
Over time, there are some tiny tumor cells or galls in the root, and they will spread to other parts.
They are usually brown, black, or tan. These black galls have rough upper surfaces, like cancer cells, that significantly damage your tree and greatly reduce the crop’s productivity.
How to solve
You are advised to apply or spray chemical control fertilizer over the diseased areas, especially infected branches, stems, and leaves.
However, prevention is better than cure. You’d better upkeep the cherry skin by planting its crowns in the well-drained soil and keeping them dry.
Necrotic ringspot usually appears and spreads through the tree’s seed, wood grafting, and pollen. As such, it could transmit to another susceptible plant via the wind during the pollination season.
Although this disease is not common like the above ones, you should not disregard its harmful impact. It could kill all the leaf buds, foliage, and twigs within a few weeks if meeting optimal conditions.
Besides, it is conducive to fruit loss with a percentage of 15%.
Several symptoms include:
- The browning or yellowing of leaves.
- The overload of holes in the foliage.
- The eventual shothole appearance.
How to solve
You are recommended to isolate the infected trees so the necrotic ringspot fungi cannot cause harm to others. The fungicide application also comes in handy before everything is out of control.
Cherry berries are the potential attack target of brown spots. You will likely see various small brown or black spots on the ripe fruits, which ruin their texture and taste a lot and eventually rot them.
You can also spot these marks on the flowers, stems, and twigs.
How to solve
When the crop has these infected fruits, farmers must remove and throw them away so as not to affect other plants and the whole crop’s productivity.
To better prepare for the worst scenario, you should prune your tree carefully before the blooming season and sterilize all the used tools. Chemical treatments are also worth your consideration.
Why Are My Cherry Tree Leaves Turning Brown?
As mentioned earlier, the browning of cherry tree leaves commonly stems from fungal infections, such as brown spot and cherry leaf spot.
Although brown spots mainly exhibit on cherry fruits, the disease could spread to the foliage and branches by leaving brown spore masses.
The same is true for the cherry leaf spot. To solve this problem properly, apply a moderate amount of fungicide about one to twice yearly.
Remember that the duration between the two application times should be long enough.
Besides, the issue of brown leaves is rooted in improper watering and nutrition deficiency. That means your entire trees do not receive enough nutrients and water to feed on.
Hence, it would be best to give them water regularly, and you could even add compost or mulch to the soil with the purpose of supplementing more nutrients and enhancing its ability to hold water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does The Cherry Tree Lose Leaves In Late Summer?
The summer is known for high temperatures and hot heat.
These conditions are perfect for the cherry leaf spot’s development, which could make the foliage turn yellow and drop off in a bunch, just like how maple tree leaves turn yellow in summer.
Is Pruning Helpful To Stop The Cherry Tree Fungus?
Yes, as mentioned, pruning goes a long way in controlling the fungi on cherry trees, thereby preventing some diseases like cytospora canker or silver leaves.
What Cherry Trees Are Resistant To Black Knot?
Black knot only attacks the sweet and sour cherry trees, including North Japanese hill cherry, East Asian cherry, Amur species, Manchurian cherry, etc., so other varieties are safe from this threat.
You should not overlook the danger of black knot. If not treated well, it could stunt your plant’s growth and make it prone to death within a few weeks.
Prevention is better than cure; hence, try to take proactive actions to prevent the disease before it is too late.
The Bottom Line
Regarding cherry tree fungus identification, you can check the infected tree’s foliage and branches for yellow leaves or black/brown spots.
For the nine common fungus-blighted diseases, you’d better watch out for the cherry leaf spot and black knot since these two are the most dangerous to your plant.