Yellow Leaves on my Cherry Tree

Asked July 10, 2020, 2:58 PM EDT

The leaves are turning yellow on my (about 2 years old) cherry tree. They appear to have a brown or purple spots (i'm slightly color blind) on the leaves. Can you tell me what that might be and how I can treat it?

Boulder County Colorado

4 Responses

Hi, It is true that our dry winter and late spring snow has delayed many trees from leafing out. I can’t tell you what has affected your tree without a specimen or close in photographs. I suspect from your description that it is chlorosis, unspecified. If, you send photographs to the Ask an Expert site we may be able to determine what is stressing your fruit trees. There are specific pests to soft and stone fruits that might account for the yellowing and spots on the leaves. Observe if the yellowing is concentrated to a specific area, does it start on new growth or older leaves? Determine if the trees are getting sufficient water. Over watering can promote chlorosis. Is ther patten top down or bottom up? As you can see there are many variables in a diagnosis. I hope that this was somewhat helpful.

I have posted 2 pictures. As you can see by #196 the yellow leaves are scattered thru out the tree. #197 is the best I could do for a close up but if you can zoom in you will see the little spots near the tip of the leaf. Any directioninformation will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Here is one more picture showing the little spots on the leaves.

Thanks for reaching out to us. I am sorry you are having issues with you new cherry tree. Please let us know how have your been watering this young tree. Based upon your response we could be more helpful at diagnosing the issues.

Young 2 yr old trees have a very limited root system. I noticed some leaf curling in the pictures (this could be due to it being very hot when the pictures were taken). Also the yellowing of the leaves could be due to water stress. The grass around the tree appears to be a little brown.

"If" the tree is having some water stress this could lead to more insects attacking the young plant. The leaf spots you asked about my be due to insects.

For you consideration I have attached a web link that discusses the care of newly planted trees. https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/635.pdf

You should consider removing the winter warp from the tree. This can create issues during summer months. This web link discuss proper winter wrapping https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/653.pdf

I would recommend removing the staking inter tube from the tree. It is easy to forget items like this and it can cause issues if left on the tree too long.

Does the tree have mulch around it? This Fact Sheet discusses proper mulching which is very important during a tree's first years and into maturity. https://cmg.extension.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/658.pdf

Please let us know how you go about watering the sapling and we can continue to work from there.