Our cherry tree is shedding leaves

Asked August 18, 2018, 4:07 PM EDT

Our Yoshino flowering cherry tree has been shedding leaves all summer. The leaves get spotty, turn yellow, then brown, and fall to the ground, dry, like it was October. I rake them up every week. We've had this problem in past years, and were told it was a fungus. We were advised to have the tree pruned and thinned to allow more air to circulate through it. We did, for two years running, but it hasn't helped. Is there a more effective treatment? Or should we remove the tree and replace it with another species?

Baltimore County Maryland disease issues trees

1 Response

Cherry shot hole disease is a very common problem in Yoshino cherry trees and it is worse in wet years. The disease can be caused by a fungus and/or bacteria. Spray treatments would have to start as the new leaves are expanding in the spring and continue at regular intervals while rainy periods persist. It is difficult to get good spray coverage in a mature tree and for many people, the spray regimen is not practical. Many people just live with it. There is also the option to remove and replace the tree.