Cherry Tree Problem

Asked May 23, 2020, 9:50 PM EDT

My mature cherry tree has born bountiful crops for many years. For the last two years, it has blossomed and developed immature cherries but while still immature, the fruit falls from the tree without fully developing. Can you offer any advice? The tree looks healthy except for some moss growth.

Washington County Oregon

1 Response

The sad news about cherry trees is that they often drop numerous small fruits which weren't pollinated. Among the possible causes are adverse conditions at bloom including rain, cold, and lack of active bees.
This year many local gardeners have seen another problem, namely Brown Rot blossom Blight and Fruit Rot. This is a very common disease with all the stone fruits during wet, rainy springs.

Although it's now too late to spray, collect and discard all fallen cherries and do the same for affected fruits that cling to the tree. During the summer, prune off dead twigs and branches during dry weather.

Chemical treatment consists of an annual spray to minimize recurrence of the disease. Mark your calendar for bloom time next spring.

Four spray products are available to home gardeners. Choose from the following, then read and follow label directions to apply:
- Bonide Captan 50 WP
- Ortho MAX Garden Disease Control
- Infuse Systemic Disease Control
- Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide Spray Concentrate for Gardens.

Apply fungicides during the bloom period at early popcorn (red bud, pink bud, or green tip), full bloom, and/or petal fall to control the blossom blight phase.

If the tree is too large for you to easily spray, consider hiring a pest control company as they will have the appropriate equipment.