Help, our cherry tree is dying - don't know what's wrong with it!

Asked April 26, 2016, 9:27 PM EDT

We have an older cherry tree that seems to be rotting from the inside out. It seems to be spreading quite rapidly. I have included a picture of the tree that is in question, where you can see the upper right limb is dead, and also a picture of the trunk of the tree next too it that we lost already. Is there someone that can look at it or give us advise as to whom to contact asap??

Marion County Oregon fruit trees cherry trees horticulture

1 Response

One of the most common causes of mortality of cherry trees is a bacterial disease called bacterial canker. You can find out more about the disease here: http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/cherry-prunus-spp-bacterial-canker. The pattern of death of the branch in the live tree and the stump from the neighboring tree are both indicative of what I would expect from bacterial canker. Please read the description of the symptoms on the page referenced above and look for a canker on the branch or trunk of the tree that is diseased. If this is the problem it is best that you prune out any cankers that you see at least 12 inches below any cankers and also remove the stump from the dead neighboring tree as it appears that there is still some inoculum associated with the stump. Unfortunately, these measures will not guarantee that the diseased tree will survive. The most important thing to remember is to keep the tree as healthy as possible with moderate levels of fertilizer and prune only in the dry season of early fall, when there is no rain.