The accompanying photo shows two ornamental cherry trees exhibiting early...

Asked September 14, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

The accompanying photo shows two ornamental cherry trees exhibiting early leaf fall. Our neighborhood in Zip Code 20832 has a considerable number of these trees, many very senior trees of 20 or more years of age, and probably different varieties (though I can't corroborate this). Is this leaf fall weather-related, age-related, or specific to cherry trees? Is there a "remedy" or treatment for this phenomenon? Thank you for any information you can provide.

Montgomery County Maryland trees and shrubs cherry leaf spot cherry trees

1 Response

Ornamental cherries have been subject to a fungal disease called cherry leaf spot. This has been common this season due to the abundant moisture we received. 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.
Make sure mulch around the base of your trees is no thicker than two-three inches and keep it away from the base of the trunk. Excessive mulch reduces soil oxygen for the roots. When mulch is piled up against the trunks of trees and shrubs the bark decays and can contribute to decline.
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