Bright red cherries with tiny black spots in them as they ripen

Asked July 4, 2020, 3:14 PM EDT

Bright red cherries with tiny black spots in them as they ripen.Wondering what is little black spots are and why they happen. The cherries are bitter. How do I know when to pick and what causes these dark spots. Thank Steve

King County Washington

1 Response

I'm thinking that your cherry trees show symptoms of brown rot, a common fungal infection of stone fruits like cherries in Western Washington. There isn't much you can do about it this year, except for spraying the tree as recommended below just before harvest it rain is expected, removing and destroying affected fruit on tree and on the ground after leaf fall in autumn. because spores form on the wounded cherry, and spread the fungus. You should be able to prevent or reduce the chance for infection with a fungicide spray schedule as recommended below. BE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL LABEL INSTRUCTIONS. I hope this helps!

This article breaks it down a little better--Scroll down to the section on Cherries--about 3/4 down the page

Bloom stages --(first showing pink to petal fall)
–captan, chlorothalonil, or propiconazole
–Spray once or twice during early bloom.

Petal Fall stage:
-captan, chlorothalonil, myclobutanil, or propiconazole

Shucksplit stage (Shucksplit is when small, young fruit shed the papery sheath covering them shortly after bloom)
--captan, chlorothalonil, myclobutanil, or propiconazole

Summer 1 to 2 weeks before harvest if rain is likely
--propiconazole or sulfur

Leaf fall
--Remove and destroy any mummified fruit in or around trees.

WSU's Hortsense gives more information and examples of products containing the active ingredients listed above: