Cherry Tree Care & Diseases

In addition to their wonderful fruit, many property owners grow cherry trees for their spectacular spring flowers. Cherry trees can have a graceful weeping form or attractive upright canopy depending on the species. There are many cherry tree varieties to choose from. Most cherries produce pink to white flowers. Cherry tree leaves are also attractive in the fall.

Bing sweet cherry trees produce large, delicious, deep red fruit. Bing sweet cherry trees begin to bear fruit in their fifth or sixth year, and once mature can yield up to 100 pounds of fruit.

Ornamental flowering cherry trees, such as the Kwanzan Cherry tree, Chinese Cherry tree, and Yoshino Flowering Cherry tree, are sterile and do not produce fruit, but are cultivated to be decorative by producing more abundant blossoms. The Kwanzan is the highlight at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

How to Grow: Cherry trees should be planted in early spring.  If growing cherries for their fruit, a cooler drier climate is best. One should plant varieties that bloom at the same time as successful pollination is necessary for a bountiful harvest. Cherry trees flourish in full sun and well-drained soil.

Size of Tree: Cherry trees are 20 to 30 feet high / 15 to 25 foot spread

Cherry Tree Care

Cherry trees are susceptible to many stresses, including insect problems and disease, such as cherry blight, making their life span around 20 years. However, by properly controlling insects and cherry tree disease, as well as watering, regular pruning, and using cherry tree fertilizer, you can enjoy the beauty and fruit of this tree on your landscape for years.

Cherry Tree Pruning

Pruning and training deciduous fruit trees are performed primarily to increase fruit production and develop a strong tree framework of optimum size and shape. This is especially important for a cherry tree which can grow faster than its body and limbs can actually support. Pruning is necessary to maintain tree health, vigor and productivity throughout the life of the home orchard.  Benefits of pruning and training include:

  • Aid in the establishment of newly planted cherry trees
  • Enhance early productivity
  • Increase fruit size and quality
  • Promote flower bud development throughout the cherry tree canopy
  • Promote development of new fruiting wood needed to maintain productivity
  • Reduce the tendency for biennial bearing
  • Reduce incidence and spread of certain cherry tree diseases
  • Facilitate spraying, fruit thinning and harvesting

Your SavATree certified arborist is equipped with the latest techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to keep your cherry trees healthy, beautiful and safe. Contact us today for information on pruning or any of our other cherry tree care services.

Cherry Tree Diseases, Pests & Signs

Cherry Tree Disease

There are several damaging diseases and pests that affect cherry trees. Some of the most common are:

Brown Rot This fungus infects blossoms, fruit and small branches. Signs include cankers, fruit rot and blight.  Powdery, brown gray tufts can be seen on the twigs or fruit especially when wet.

Powdery Mildew Fungal disease that attacks twigs and leaves. Signs are white patches on new leaves and premature dropping of leaves.

Cherry Leaf Spot Fungus that primarily affects cherry tree leaves but can also attack twigs and stems. Look for dark colored spots on the leaves, leaf yellowing, premature dropping of leaves and white spots on leaves in wet weather. Cherry leaf spot is more prevalent in humid areas.

Black Cherry Aphid These tiny soft bodied, black insects eat the leaves of the cherry tree causing them to become twisted, stunted and curled.  The aphids also secrete honeydew which may cause black fungus to grow. Severe infestations can kill young cherry trees and reduce quality and quantity of a mature tree's harvest.

Other cherry tree diseases and pests include:

  • Borers
  • White Prunicola Scale
  • Black knot

Don't let these diseases or pests destroy your precious cherry trees. If you suspect a problem with your trees, call a SavATree certified arborist right away for an evaluation and treatment options. Our tree care experts can help protect your cherry trees and keep your landscape beautiful.

If you'd like to establish cherry tree varieties in your landscape, we can connect you with a reputable and qualified landscape expert that can help you purchase and plant new cherry trees.

For a complimentary consultation with a certified arborist, contact the location nearest you.

Disease photo: Cherry brown rot disease 5335073-USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection - St. Paul Archive, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

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