My poor cherry tree!

Asked August 20, 2017, 6:56 PM EDT

I have a tart cherry tree. It has been in my yard since about 2006. It was mature enough to fruit the first summer I had it (2007). The last two years, it blooms, starts to develop fruit, and then they suddenly all turn brown and die. Also, as the Japanese beetles have discovered it, they are starting to eat the leaves. Do you have any suggestions on 1) what might be causing the drying up of the fruit, and 2) how to save it from the beetles? I am not opposed to cutting it down, waiting a year, and starting with a new tree if that is your suggestion! Thanks!

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

Immature cherries may drop because the flowers that produced them were not pollinated. Immature cherries will also drop when more fruits have set than the tree is able to bear. Immature cherries affected by diseases such as brown rot may fail to develop.

Go here for information and recommendations you can use to control cherry pests and diseases:
https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/stone-fruit-for-minnesota-gardens/
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/fruit/integrated-pest-management-for-home-stone-frui...

Whatever is affecting the tree's health and productivity will probably affect any other planted in the same location, so removing the one you have now and planting another is unlikely to improve your harvests.

We don't know of any effective way to keep Japanese beetles off trees. The following information is the best we have to offer.

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/japanese-beetles/