Leaves turning brown - cherry tree

Asked August 15, 2016, 12:36 PM EDT

Over the last couple weeks, the leaves on both my (meteor) cherry trees have become yellow or even brown. It started with a few leaves, but now has spread to the majority. A nearby Serviceberry tree lost leaves that turned yellow then red and dropped off a month ago, but only in about 3 small branches and now in general that tree is fine. Also plants nearby are affected - specifically the wisteria is all yellow (and has been for a while now), as well as the astilbe and the snow on the mountain. It all seems to be along one part of the garden. Some plants are fine - seems to be by species. I enclose a photo.

Hennepin County Minnesota diagnosis of plant problems cherry trees

1 Response


Thank you for the question. Unfortunately, a diagnosis of such a wide-spread problem can't be made based on the photos. When so many different plant varieties are affected, we tend to think of non-biotic causes like herbicide injury, weather conditions and cultural problems. We can make some suggestions but there is no substitute to having a certified arborist come to your yard and take a look. The cherry tree leaves look like they might have a problem with iron chlorosis because of the green veins on the leaves and yellowing between them. There is no easy fix. Read more about causes and remedies here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/iron-chlorosis/
Here is our publication on growing cherry trees in Minnesota. You might discover some clues when you read about how to best maintain the health and productivity of this tree.

A soil test is in order to help rule out soil fertility issues: http://soiltest.cfans.umn.edu/

Good luck and thank you for contacting Extension.