Cherry flowered leaves appear now dying

Asked October 26, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

The tree was purchased as a grafted dry rooted tree around 7ft tall with 4 branches It flowered in 2014 birds took all but 3 cherries we had a major black caterpillar problem and the company we bought it from suggested white oil as a deterrent I also fertilized with chicken compost while dormant.
the problem is the tree flowered and leafed up well, The flowers the shriveled and went brown the the new leaves have done the same this tree has 4 branches and the 4th is now going the same way.
I'm in Ballarat Vic. Australia at 450mt elevation the tree was bought locally.
We also a -1.7c night a few days after the flowering with no fruit set.
Please help Kind regards Damien.

Outside United States fruit trees cherry trees

2 Responses

Hi Damien,

Thanks for sending the pictures and the description. This is helpful. The pictures show trees that have completely collapsed; both leaves and flowers are wilted and dried. The most common cause for total branch or tree collapse is a bacterial disease caused by Pseudomonas syringe called bacterial canker. This pathogen causes a wound to grow on the branches or trunk of a tree that eventually girdles the tree and cuts of water and nutrient flow to the leaves. Often young cherry trees will die due to this disease. Unfortunately, I cannot see the base of the trees in the pictures to confirm this diagnosis, but the symptoms are very much in keeping with those expected from this disease. Unfortunately, nothing can be done at this time to save these trees. It is best to remove and destroy the trees and replant with new trees this spring.

Young trees are very susceptible to bacterial canker. To keep the new trees disease free, it is important to never prune in the rain, or just prior to an expected rain. I have attached a link to an Extension bulletin that gives you more information about this disease. https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/em9007

Thanks for your response Lynn.
I looked up Pseudomonas syringae and the pictures shown were the same as our tree locked before the leaves dropped last year the only difference was the colour of the grubs/worms.
Our neighbour has a 25foot wild plum tree they never harvest the fruit just let it rot our tree is only about 15-20ft from it.
We;ll give fruit trees a miss we've never had a problem with bulbs with several hundred Gladioli and Liliams.

Thanks again. Damien.