Hi, We have flowering cherry tree that has dead leaves throughout. It looks...

Asked May 26, 2013, 10:42 AM EDT

Hi, We have flowering cherry tree that has dead leaves throughout. It looks to be newer growth that has died, comprising about 10% of the tree. Any thoughts on what is causing this and what we can do about it? Many thanks for any assistance.

Baltimore County Maryland cherry trees flowering cherry trees

1 Response

We have received numerous reports of flowering cherry trees suffering from a fungal disease commonly known as 'brown rot'. This disease normally attacks fruiting peach trees and sometimes other stone fruit trees, but it has jumped to the ornamentals. It is prompted and exacerbated by the cool, damp spring weather we have experienced this year. So far we have observed that otherwise healthy trees are able to survive the disease and put out new growth later in the season. Since it is weather dependent, another cool, wet spring next year may cause another outbreak. Repeated outbreaks may prompt some homeowners to begin a fungicide spray regimen each year to prevent the disease. It cannot be cured once it appears on the foliage. If the affected limbs die, it would be appropriate to prune them out. In the meantime, we simply have to wait and see how the tree recovers.
LS