Posted on: 30 March 2016
If you are lucky enough to have your own garden, you might find it rewarding to keep your own fruit trees. There are many varieties of cherry trees that thrive in the Australian climate, producing delicious fruit and beautiful flowers. But in order for your cherry trees to thrive, you need to make sure they are kept disease free. Unfortunately, cherry trees can be susceptible to disease, fungus, and rotting. Here's what you need to know about the potential problems you'll have with a cherry tree, and how to solve those problems.
Black knot fungus. Black knot fungus is a fairly common fungus that typically affects plum trees and cherry trees. The good news with black knot fungus is that it is very distinctive looking, so you should be able to spot it in its early stages. You will find growth of black gall all over the affected branches and the stems, and this can kind of look like a series of black warts—not pretty. Fortunately, this fungus can be removed by simple pruning. When you cut off the affected branches, be sure to burn them because this fungus is air-borne and it could spread otherwise. You should then treat the tree with an appropriate fungicide to stave off future infection.
Root and crown rot disease. If you find that your cherry tree has a case of root and crown rot disease, unfortunately, this is more serious than black knot fungus. Because this type of fungus attacks the lower portion of the tree, which is so essential for a tree's integrity and strength, the consequences can be very serious when that integrity is compromised. Once your tree has rot disease, there is no cure, and you will have to lean on the talents of tree removal specialists who will be able to cut down your tree safely. You should also ask them to disinfect the soil where the tree is planted because crown rot disease occurs because of fungus in the soil. The best thing you can do to prevent this disease is to keep the soil surrounding your tree well irrigated and test it regularly for infection.
Canker. Canker is a bacterial problem that often affects cherry trees. You'll notice canker if gummy looking lesions start to form on twigs and branches. You can combat this disease by keeping your tree well pruned, and pruning well below the site of infection. It's also a good idea to treat the pruned area with a pruning sealant. Spraying your tree with a copper fungicide will also help to keep this bacterial disease under control.Share