The Q&A Archives: rotting cherries

Question: I have a cherry tree that every year for the past 3 years have started out really well. The cherries bloom in abundance then as soon as they start to turn red they rot within 2 days.They almost look molded.We spray for insects at the beginning of spring before it blooms. Is it some kind of fungus? If it is can I get rid of it. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for your time.

Answer: What you describe sounds like the fungal disease called brown rot. It is common with cherries and is actually weather related so some years can be worse than others. You can protect your trees with a fungicide but it must be sprayed onto the tree at the correct time and in the correct sequence.

Spray the tree three times during the bloom period: suggested intervals are 'early, when you see red or pink showing on the buds'; one more spray when the tree is in full bloom, and a final spray after the petals have dropped.

Chemicals registered for home use include Daconil, Captan, and Spectracide Immunox. Check the label carefully for all instructions and be sure that 'fruiting cherries' are listed on the label.

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