12 Cherry Tree Pests and Diseases You Need to Watch For

Cherry trees are one of the easiest fruits to grow in your backyard, but that doesn’t mean they’re without problems. Sadly, it is not uncommon to come out to examine your trees, only to discover one of the many potential pests and diseases of the cherry tree.

prefers tastier cherries than humans; Pests and diseases treat trees as a nutritious source of food. You need to know what potential issues you can face to prevent them from attacking you.

Here are some of the most common cherry tree pests and diseases.

5 Cherry Tree Pests

There are some pests that attack stone fruit trees, some of which only attack cherries. Most can be controlled with a few basic measures.

1. Aphids

One of the most common cherry tree pests are aphids, which are small, soft-bodied insects that live on the undersides of leaves and on the trunks of your tree. Most infestations of aphids are not serious, but heavy infestations can cause yellowing of leaves and necrotic spots on the leaves.

One of the biggest problems with aphids is that they suck the sap from your plants and secrete a sugary substance called honeydew on your plants. Honeydew attracts sooty mold, another problem you don’t want in your cherry trees. They can also spread disease.

Take a look at our guide to aphids to learn more.

2. European Cherry Fruit Fly

adult cherry fruit flies (ragoletis cerasi) look similar to a house fly but much smaller, and have stripes on their wings. The larvae look like yellowish-white grubs. These pests produce small, pinpoint stinging marks on the surfaces of cherry fruits, and lay eggs under the skin of adult fruits. Then, they hatch and the larvae tunnel through the fruit.

Hang traps in your cherry trees to lure in the adults. There are also fruit tree natural sprays that treat cherry fruit flies, but you want to be sure which one you use to prevent the flies from developing resistance. Contact your local extension office to see what is recommended in your area.

3. Peach Twig Piercer

Even though these are called peach twig borers, they can infect your cherry trees. They cause death of shoot tips and damage to the feeding fruit, usually at the stem end. Peach twig borers overwinter in the bark and crotch of their tree limbs, making them difficult to get rid of.

The best way to eliminate peach twig borer is to use insecticides timely when the cherry trees begin to bloom. bacillus thuringiensis Quite effective against this pest, but infestations can also be treated with organophosphate or pyrethroid insecticides.

4. Spider Mites

Spider mites are part of the arachnid family. They suck up the plants and cause the leaves to turn yellow, or they may have a bronze appearance. Spider mites leave behind a webbing covering the leaves, and that’s probably what you’ll notice first because they’re so small that you usually need a hand lens to see them.

The mites look like small, moving dots on the web, but they can also occur on the undersides of leaves. Applying insecticidal soap or horticultural oil helps get rid of spider mites; Chemical insecticides are not recommended because they kill the natural enemies that spider mites carry.

Our guide to spider mites can help you get the situation under control.

5. Western Cherry Fruit Fly

No one wants to find western cherry fruit flies (ragolitis indifferent) on their cherry trees. The adults fly around and lay eggs in the cherries, usually choosing the damaged ones to attack. Larvae develop inside the cherries and turn the fruit pulpy, destroying them. Insects are known to cause serious damage in the western part of the US.

Western cherry fruit flies can be trapped by yellow sticky traps, and traps with ammonium carbonate are most effective. You can also use chemical treatments to target the females that lay eggs. There are several recommended sprays that you can use at home, such as spinosad, malathion and acetamiprid.

7 Cherry Tree Diseases

Pay attention when planting cherry trees and keep a close eye on any of these diseases. Early treatment helps stop the spread of the problem; Don’t let it get away from you!

1. Bacterial Canker

Bacterial canker is a bacterial disease that causes cankers on the twigs at the base of the flower and leaf buds. These cankers spread upward and form sunken areas in winter. Usually, the disease begins in the spring, by the time the summer season begins, the plant dies.

It prefers to grow in low temperatures and lots of moisture, making spring an ideal time for growth. Growing trees grown for your area helps reduce the risk of contracting bacterial canker, and you can apply a protective layer of copper spray to the trees before flowering. Annual pruning also helps reduce the chance of infection.

2. Black Knot

Black knot is a fungal disease of the cherry tree that causes long swellings on the woody parts of the tree. knots are easy to recognize; They usually start out as olive green with a cork texture but eventually turn black. These black knot infestations occur on new shoots after rain.

If you suspect that your cherry trees have black knot, cut the knots off the twigs and branches and throw them in the trash immediately. Do not put them in compost or leave them on the ground. Removing the knots is the most effective way to get rid of this disease, but controlled use of fungicide will also help.

3. Brown Rot

Brown rot causes brown discoloration of the fruit’s skin and internal tissue, and the skin of cherries may become wrinkled. This leads to tan cankers with dark edges and grayish-brown spores on the skin.

The fungus lives on mummified fruit on trees, flowers and twigs. The best way to take care of this fungal disease is to use appropriate protective fungicide in time so that they can be applied when the flower parts are open. You also need to practice good cultural control methods, such as removing mummified fruit from the tree, cutting off infected twigs, and giving the tree adequate water and fertilizer.

4. Cherry Leaf Spot

Cherry leaf spot is a fungus (bloomierella japi) which causes the development of small, reddish-purple spots on the upper surface of cherry tree leaves. Eventually, they turn brown, and the leaves may become chlorotic if lesions are present. The fruit does not develop due to severe infection.

This fungus grows on infected leaves in the ground, and it prefers to grow in warm temperatures with high humidity. The best way to treat cherry leaf spot to trees is to make a proper application of fungicide; There are no varieties resistant to this disease.

5. Powdery Mildew

One of the most common cherry tree diseases is powdery mildew, which causes circular lesions on the leaves that develop a powdery appearance. In severe cases, leaves blister and infected shoots become deformed and stunted. You may have noticed that the infection occurs when there is heavy rainfall, as it spreads through water.

Powdery mildew is treatable with a suitable fungicide. Take a look at our guide to powdery mildew in the garden to learn more ways to combat this disease.

6. Silver Leaf

The silvery foliage causes the leaves to look silvery, and the leaves may curl upward, becoming necrotic. This fungal infection causes the death of individual organs or the entire tree.

This pathogen is transmitted through spores after rainfall and is released during periods of moisture, and it enters trees through wounds caused by pruning or damage. When you prune trees in late winter or early spring, it increases the risk of infection.

Silver leaf is difficult to control because it spreads after rainfall. You can use strategies to reduce diseases such as removing all plant debris, pruning logs, pruning trees during dry periods, and treating large wounds with fungicide dressings.

7. Verticillium Wilt

One of the worst fungal infections that your cherry tree can contract is Verticillium wilt. Due to this, the leaves of one year old wooden twigs wither and the leaves become dull and dry. Unfortunately, older cherry trees do not recover from the disease, but adequately fertilized and watered younger trees help them survive.

Take a look at our guide to Verticillium wilt to learn more about this disease.

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