Possible to save backyard cherry tree? (Fungus?)

Asked August 2, 2020, 11:49 AM EDT

Hello! We’ve noticed many damaged leaves on our backyard tree, along with ants, aphids, crickets. We’re wondering if it’s salvageable and if so, how to treat it. I’m not quite sure exactly what kind of tree it is, either. Have never used this feature before and am grateful for any help you can provide!

New Castle County Delaware

2 Responses

Hi, thanks for your question! The holes in your leaves are cherry shot-hole lesions, which can be caused by either a fungus or bacterium. Either way, damage is usually just cosmetic unless other stressors are affecting the tree. We've seen a lot of cherry defoliation from this disease this year. The best thing you can do is rake up any fallen leaves in the fall and dispose of them, because that's how the pathogen overwinters for infection next year. Here's a very helpful factsheet: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cherry-shot-hole-flowering-cherries

There does not seem to be any insect issue with the tree with the pictures provided. This tree does not require a pesticide treatment. The tree has most likely suffered drought stress over the summer, but should recover fine over time. I would observe the tree over the remainder of the year and next spring to be sure, but I think the tree should be okay based on the photos provided.

Ants do not eat wood (even carpenter ants), the flatids (insect in middle picture) do not cause damage that harms the health of the tree (that I have heard about) and crickets are just incidental. If there are sections of the tree showing signs of decline, then feel free to contact us again. Enjoy your healthy tree (based on the pictures)!