What’s wrong with my tree?

Asked July 6, 2020, 6:25 PM EDT

Hi, I have a cherry blossom tree (or maybe a crab apple? Pink flowers that blossom early spring... gorgeous!) that doesn’t the last 2 years seems to have some sort of infection (a fungus???). As soon as it’s done flowering, the leaves get black dots, then turn yellow and start falling (see attached pictures). Is this a treatable disease? I’d love yo save this gorgeous tree that also provides much needed shade to my patio! Thanks so much! Jenny Gordon

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

I believe your tree is an apple, perhaps a crabapple, but not a cherry, and the disease you are seeing is apple scab, a very common fungal disease. While it can make the tree unsightly in July and August, it usually does not affect the overall health of the tree. On apple trees grown for fruit, it can damage the crop.

The disease begins early in the season and grows progressively over the course of the summer. Any treatment must start in early spring. Now is too late for this season.

The amount of scab varies from year to year. We don't usually recommend any treatment on ornamental trees, unless they've been defoliated 2 or 3 years in a row. Instead, we recommend planting resistant varieties.

There are cultural practices that can reduce the amount of disease. Read here: