cherry fruit wasting

Asked May 16, 2014, 3:39 PM EDT

We have a grafted 3 variety cherry tree. It had a magnificent bloom, and it appeared to have set a tremendous amount of fruit. Now, we are noticing 75-80% of the cherries are wasting, shriveling, and turning yellow, then brown. Can you tell us what is wrong? The tree has grown significantly since we planted it 3 years ago, appears healthy. There are a few leaves which have dark brown/black spots, but very few. Let me know if you need a photo.

Multnomah County Oregon

1 Response

We call this phenomenon “June drop” but you might find it referred to as “Cherry Run Off” in places like England. There are 3 stages of drop. The first, is two to two and half weeks after full bloom, the second about one week later and the third, the so called June drop, occurs about three weeks after the second.

Bottom line is that the cause is unknown. There are many theories from weather conditions (during bloom or the season before - hot, cold, rainy, etc.) to a competition for nutrients within the tree.

With a lower crop the remaining fruit should size nicely. Now if you can only get them before the birds do......