Bing Cherry Tree Gummosis(?)

Asked June 12, 2017, 6:39 PM EDT

Our Bing Cherry tree has developed what looks like Gummosis. We are at 1,000ft elevation in a well drained area with laurel wood loam soil type (basically a clay type soil). Tree had lots of blossoms, but All the cherries shriveled and died. It's in an area that could be subjected to wind. Would appreciate any suggestions on what to do now as well what to do in the future to avoid. I opened one of the stems (picture attached) and can't see any sign of a borer or other insect. The other pictures show a limb on the tree leaking sap from every flower bud.

Washington County Oregon cherry trees

1 Response

Thank you for the pictures. These are always very helpful to discern the problem. The sap leaking from the wound is a typical symptom of bacterial canker disease. This is a disease that girdles the branch or trunk causing the area located above the girdle to eventually die. If the canker is severe, and it is located on the trunk, the tree usually dies. Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to prevent infection and it is difficult to control once infected. The only possible control is to prune out any infection on a branch, at least 12 inches below the site of the infection. Here is a link to more information about this disease. https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/host-disease/cherry-prunus-spp-bacterial-canker.

It is difficult to say why no fruit set, even after a heavy bloom. To set fruit on most cherry varieties, you need an acceptable pollinizer, that blooms at the same time. It's also possible that frost killed the blooms, or that the blooms were infected with brown rot, a fungus disease that infects in wet springs and kills the blossoms. Here is a link to more information about this disease. https://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/host-disease/cherry-prunus-spp-brown-rot-blossom-blight-fruit-rot