Cherry Blossom Tree Diseases: Warning Signs of a Sick Tree

A photo of pink blossoms on a cherry tree

Most well known for being the national flower of Japan, we are lucky enough in the UK to find wild cherry trees, commonly known as cherry blossom trees, throughout our woodlands and gardens. This beautiful tree has a few variations, with much of the differences being related to how much fruit they bear (if any). Regardless of which cherry blossom tree you may technically have, the diseases that can ravage these trees can prove lethal if not caught and treated quickly. If your cherry blossom tree is looking sick, take note of the below warning signs and act quickly to have the best chance of saving your cherry blossom.

Root & Crown Rot Disease

Rot disease in cherry blossom trees is due to the roots growing in standing water, or indeed any other excessive moisture, as this allows the fungus-like organism present in soils to seep in and rot the tree. This is one of the reasons it is so important to have well-draining soil for your cherry tree with irrigation carefully regulated.

The warning signs for this cherry blossom tree disease include noticeably slow growth, the leaves wilting excessively quickly when the weather is hot, and discolouration of the leaves. Sadly, there is no cure once the rot has set in. At this point, if you identify the warning signs correctly, you will need to next organise removing the cherry blossom tree safely.

Black Knot Fungus

Black Knot Fungus, unlike Root and Crown Rot Disease, is treatable as long as you identify the warning signs quickly and act fast. As the name would suggest, this disease can be identified by very noticeable black ‘knot’-like blemishes that develop on branches and twigs; the bark appears to be covered in a bulbous black substance which is caused by SOMETHING.

If you notice the warning signs of the Black Knot Fungus disease, snip off the branch (below) the growth and then use a fungicide. We would recommend using this three times a year to help prevent Black Knot Fungus, ideally just before and after the tree flowers and also in spring.

Bacterial Canker

If you notice warning signs such as a gummy texture on the bark of the tree and depressions in the trunk and branches as if the tree is sinking into itself, there is a strong chance your tree may be sick from Bacterial Canker. Treatment options are available including pruning and disinfectant; call a trusted Tree Surgeon for advice on how best to save your cherry tree from this disease.

With any warning signs of disease on your tree, it’s best to consult a professional to ensure you can do everything possible to save your tree. With some cherry blossom tree diseases, there is, unfortunately, no treatment. Falling trees can damage property and even harm you or your loved ones, so make sure to contact someone to remove your tree safely. Treesaw are dedicated and approved tree surgeons in the Leeds and Harrogate area who can visit you to provide expert help quickly. If you are concerned about your tree, please do call us on 0113 239 1271.