Can our ornamental flowering cherry trees be saved?

Asked July 26, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT

Something is happening with our ornamental flowering cherry trees. They have lost many leaves, and many others have lots of holes. I don't know if these problems are related to insects or a fungus. We live in Rockville, Maryland. We would hate to lose the trees!

Montgomery County Maryland lrk possible shot hole fungus cherry trees flowering cherry trees

3 Responses

It is possible you may be referring to cherry shot hole, a fungal disease. You may notice yellow leaves with reddish brown spots. The fungus overwinters on fallen leaves, and good control can be achieved by raking and removing all cherry leaves from the planting area. No chemical control is recommended.

Thank you so much. I raked and removed the fallen leaves. I have a few additional questions.

  • Do you recommend any pruning?
  • I remove the suckers several (3-4) times a year. Is that appropriate?
  • This tree provides wonderful shade on our patio. Will it come back in the spring?
Thanks again.

You can prune dead wood, crossing branches, or suckers at any time. Trees usually refoliate in the spring. The tree can be weakened if there is early defoliation for several years in a row.