Cherry blossom tree diseased?


Hi there.

I have some type of blossoming tree which was beautiful early spring. But once it lost its blossoms it has really suffered. It looks like some kind of fungus or disease. Any advice?


Dear fruit tree gardener,

Thank you for writing, and please know that you are not alone in disappointment at seeing your fruit tree (assuming this is cherry) suffering, as per your photo.  Cherry trees bear some of the most wonderful, beloved, of all fruits. Their sweet, and tart, varieties are all the more prized due to a wide gamut of possible pests — including aphids, fruit flies, fungus and canker virus — that can befall this genus Prunus.

Your photo shows the tree is possibly suffering from a leaf fungus, one that may have settled in last fall and wintered over. Even though your tree made a strong entry into spring, the new leaf growth is suffering from the fungal leaf spot disease — that would have thrived in our recent rainy, very cool spring season. One season of fungal injury can generally be overcome: repeated seasons will not be so easy for your tree to survive. Of course, the many factors such as tree variety, age, soil conditions, nutrition, water, irrigation, air circulation, sunlight and temperature all play a part in good fruit tree culture.

Please see our reply to another cherry tree gardener:  sad looking cherry tree

As advised therein:  “Your best bet is to have a certified arborist come and inspect your tree. They should be able to narrow down the possible causes and suggest what management plans are open in your situation. Here are two links that will help you find a certified arborist in your neighbourhood:”

Landscape Ontario

Ontario Commercial Arborists Association

Please also read, from our library, this TMG advice on good cultural practices for your tree when you see Leaf Spot disease.

All the very best, as you devote your energies to diagnosing, treating and helping your tree thrive!