Cherry tree branches falling off

Asked October 28, 2017, 5:49 PM EDT

The five Cherry trees in my yard are dying. Their leaves turn brown and fall off before summer is over and the branches become soft and Balsa like and break off. They also have whitish splotches on their bark. What is this and is there anything that can be done? Thanks,

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

We viewed your photo. It is not uncommon for cherry trees to be susceptible to some fungal diseases when we have wet spring weather and wood rots. All you can do is prune dead wood. Keep the trees well watered during dry periods and make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and away from the trunk. Rake any fallen leaves.

The white on the bark looks like lichen. They grow harmlessly on tree trunks and no control is necessary. They may grow on mature trees and are not a reason for decline. They are considered a good indicator of air quality. Leave them be.

You can send us photos as soon as you notice symptoms next season.