Our 10 yr. old Cherry Tree (5 varieties) blooms normally in the Spring, and produces small cherries. But then all the cherries fall off. The tree has severe gummosis, and a type of “slug looking pest on the leaves. Can this tree be saved, or should it be removed?
Your “slug” is the larva of the cherry sawfly, a small wasp-like insect. There is also a pear sawfly which attacks our pear tree and my aronia berry shrub. Similar to the rose sawfly. Jet of water or spraying with soap and water solution helps to reduce numbers. They are not detrimental to the tree; just make holes in the leaves.
Re your gummosis fungus problem…it is caused by an open wound or cut that can allow the fungal spores to get in under the bark where they spread. Environmental stress to the tree can also weaken its defenses. Unfortunately, once the disease infects the trunk of the tree, it destroys the tree.
Making sure your tree is not standing in water through the winter, getting regular water through summer drought periods, treating the tree when it is under severe pest infestation, being careful how you make your cuts when pruning the tree, and coating pruned branches/trunk with an application of lime sulfur (Bordeaux mixture) in 50% kaolin clay.
Bordeaux mixture is the ratio of lime to copper sulfate in 100 gal of water. The lime reduces the phytotoxicity of the copper. Safer for the plant.
There is good info about gummosis here: [https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/help-for-the-home-gardener/advice-tips-resources/pests-and-problems/diseases/cankers/gummosis-of-fruit-trees.aspx]
Hi Leslie - thank you so much for this information, I really appreciate it. Hope you & John and Sadie are all doing well.
Thanks, guys. Yup we’re doing okay. Lucky to have a garden and 3 big farms to walk Sadie around! We are managing to stay out of trouble. Hope you are all “hanging in” okay until gardening starts in earnest.