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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2006, 08:52 AM
Alanp Alanp is offline
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What's Killing my Cherry Tree

I have a Bing Cherry tree that has been there now for about 12 years or so. This spring it blossomed more beautifully than it has in any year in the past, and then the green cherries started to form in abundance. It looked like a great harvest was coming. But lately, something has started attacking the tree and I don't know what. I don't see any insects on the leaves, but the leaves and the fruit are definitely being killed. A couple of large branches in the front (the sunny side of the tree) are almost bare now. The back (shady side) still looks pretty healthy.

I'm attaching some pictures to show what it looks like. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Alan
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  #2  
Old June 9th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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jimmyq jimmyq is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

hmm. pic # 2 suggest gummosis. pic #3 suggest aphid damage, pic #4 is a fungal leaf spot and #5 looks like a bit of caterpiller damge and some fungal leaf spot.
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  #3  
Old June 10th, 2006, 01:04 PM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

You may want to look at these two links
below. There is no doubt your Cherry
is showing signs of having Bacterial
Canker.

Cherry -- Bacterial Canker

Bacterial Canker of Sweet Cherry

Jim
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  #4  
Old June 11th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Alanp Alanp is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Thanks to both of you for your replies. Mr. Shep, after having looked at the sites you posted, I have to agree that the tree has bacterial canker. This is a very unhappy situation. I really thought I was going to get the harvest of harvests this year, but .... I guess I'm going to have to get someone in who knows how to deal with this. At least, from what I read, this doesn't necessarily mean the end of the tree.

Thanks again.
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  #5  
Old June 11th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

There are ways to live with Bacterial Canker
but it will require you to apply a Copper based
fungicide on this tree every Spring. Cytospora
Canker is far worse for the tree as it takes out
whole young limbs pretty much all at one time.
That is truly dreadful stuff to see happen to any
Cherry.

The Canker was in the tree all along as it more
than likely came from the scion parent that the
rootstock was grafted onto. You have no control
over that but you can limit how far this disease
spreads and the damage it will cause by using
a good old white latex paint. Scrape off the
amber colored gummosis as best as you can
after the fruiting is over with. Cover over the
areas where you see any of the amber colored
gummosis, trunk, large branches, limbs with
the white latex paint. This will help prevent a
secondary invader from coming in such as a
wood rotting fungus and even borers from
coming in and hitting a weakened tree. As
long as the Canker has not spread to all of
the limbs you should be fine dealing with
this disease for many years to come.

The tree next door was far worse than your
Cherry is now almost 30 years ago. We
gave it a major surgery with a pruning,
painted what was left of the tree allover
with then an oil-based (linseed oil) white
paint and made sure it got 2 Copper sulfate
sprays each and every Spring and today it
still bears fruit.

Paint all of the trunk soon if you can.
When the tree drops all of its leaves
ask us how you should proceed with
a pruning or hire a certified arborist
to come in an evaluate your tree and
do the work for you. Right now the
painting of the trunk is what you need
to do the most to help your tree. You
can paint any of the other areas on the
tree if need be when you have access
to them

A couple of large branches in the front
(the sunny side of the tree) are almost
bare now.


Do you have any photos of those limbs
as it may be another disease such as
Eutypa dieback that might have caused
that to happen?

Jim
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  #6  
Old June 11th, 2006, 06:55 PM
Alanp Alanp is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Jim, Great information. Thanks. Just so I'm clear on this, I think what I'm getting is to paint the trunk now. When the fruiting is over (the fruit is all still green - some with spots), I then should scrape off the amber gummosis and paint those spots.

I'll take some pictures of the bare branches tomorrow and post them in the evening.

Again, thanks for taking the time on this.

Alan
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  #7  
Old June 11th, 2006, 09:30 PM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

If you are worried about contamination of the
fruit still on the tree then hold off on the paint.
I would want you to paint as much of the trunk
as you can. Preferably the entire trunk, from the
lowest branch on the tree all the way around
and downward, not just the areas where the
gummosis was after you scraped off as much
as you can of it,. Even to the extent of covering
over the graft union with a solid coat of paint.
Perhaps two coats after the fruit has come off
the tree. Any of the non-hardened off gummosis
that stays on trunk and larger branches makes
it tougher to get good coverage with the paint.
What we want to do is force some containment
of the disease topically and try to keep it from
spreading throughout the tree if we can. We
should be able to but we need to know how far
along the disease is. We may not know that
until the leaves have fallen off the tree so we
can see where much of the disease is in this
tree. It is what I cannot see so far that has me
a little more concerned at the moment.

If you can please post a photo of the entire tree
as I want to get an idea of the size and shape
of this tree.

Jim
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  #8  
Old June 12th, 2006, 07:58 PM
Alanp Alanp is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Jim, thanks for the reply. Here are some pictures. One of the whole tree (more or less). It seems like a weird perspective, but hopefully it will give you some idea. You can see part the first story of my house on the left.

The other pictures are of the bare branches you asked for. I didn't take any real closeups because I don't know what is of interest or not. One of the pictures is another picture showing fissures in the trunk.

Again, thanks.
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  #9  
Old June 12th, 2006, 10:06 PM
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jimweed jimweed is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

I was wondering, since bacterial blight causes blockage in the trees arterial system, can that force gummosis? Or is that caused only by bacterial canker? Just that it looks like that tree has had a serious infection of bacterial blight for many years. Jim.
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  #10  
Old June 13th, 2006, 08:14 AM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Very observant, yes, this tree has had some signs of Bacterial Canker
for a long while which is why I was hoping to see the damage to the
other side of the trunk. The gummosis exudes outward through small
slits in the bark. I would have passed along this link below earlier but
the photos did not correspond well to the damage seen on the tree but
now the link will provide a better look at what it is going on in the wood
underneath the bark. Blossom Blight to me is something altogether
different but we can see visual proof how the blast has caused the
limbs to become blighted.

Cherry Bacterial Canker

As a notation: The fumigants listed are not warranted for established
trees with the Bacterial Canker disease. Methyl bromide can come
in handy for non infectious bud failure also known as Crazy Top in
Almonds and Cherries and as a pre-plant fumigant for known Armillaria
root rot and nematodes that exist in the soil but this tree does not show
signs of having them yet. The fumigants are used for seedlings grown in
the ground prior to them being grafted. We have systemic fungicides that
will provide better protection along with cultural suppressing of the disease
but we have to remind ourselves there is no cure for the Bacterial Canker.
We just make amends for us to better live with the disease and try to
cut down on the affects this disease has on the tree. Treated early enough
this tree will probably not die due to this disease but if borers come in or
we get Eutypa dieback or worse yet Cytopsora Canker, then the end will
be near for us. It is the secondary invader that can and usually does hurt
us more than the primary disease does.

A second note: If it were my tree I'd use a systemic fungicide at some
point in time but I've seen enough posts in other threads to know that how
we do things here from the production and home gardener end is looked
down upon in other areas that choose to risk losing someone else's tree
rather than offer a meaningful means to try to take care of it. In the case
of the recommended controls for Ontario in one of the previous links, the
use of topically, dormant and popcorn stage applied Copper sulfate sprays
will probably be best for this tree grown in that home area.

Jim
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  #11  
Old June 13th, 2006, 09:11 AM
Alanp Alanp is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Well, I guess I'll be out painting the trunk this coming weekend. The only thing that worries me is that I just know the neighbours are going to be watching and whispering, "It's the crazy guy with the cats. He's acting weird again. Get the kids inside!"
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  #12  
Old June 13th, 2006, 04:53 PM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

You will still want a certified arbortist to come in very
soon after harvest and take out the dead branches.
The painting of the trunk may seem unconventional
in some areas but it is a well used practice here,
mostly for production Fruit & Nut trees. What is
a better borer preventer than a good solid painting?
Far better than using a Lindane or a Kelthane spray
after the fact when some borers are already in the
tree. Cultural control and tree maintenance along
with well timed fungicide sprays are still the best
means for dealing with Cherries.

The latex are and the old oil-based white paints were
one of the most effective tools we have in Integrated
Pest Management. When we see a 20-100 acre
Apple orchard get hit one year with Pneumallaria
(spelling?) Canker, see several of the trees die out
the next year and then realize those trees would
still be alive today if they had only been painted
three years previous, we then can better realize
just how important a tool the painting of the trunk
and branches can be for us.

Jim
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  #13  
Old June 13th, 2006, 06:47 PM
Alanp Alanp is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Thanks for all the help, Jim. Yes, I'll call an arborist pretty soon, but the painting will happen this weekend. I really don't want to lose this tree.

Alan
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  #14  
Old June 13th, 2006, 09:18 PM
Pembyvalley Pembyvalley is offline
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Re: What's Killing my Cherry Tree

Please have a look at the attached pictures of my three year old cherry tree.
Am I also dealing with bacterial Canker?
I would appreciate any kind of advice.

(Sorry-I've trying to download the pics but can not seem to figure out how to attach the small pix.
I have to do some more reading about it and will try again later)

The trunk of my tree is ozzing gold color sap and two of the lower branches are dying fruit leaves and all... I am worried that my tree will die.
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