Happy holidays from all of us at Gardening Know How. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. The disease first appears on upper parts of leaves. Leaf spots on cherry can signify a disease that could compromise that yield. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. If your trees have dropped the majority of their leaves before September, for several years in a row, fungicides can be used to protect leaves. These contain spores that will overwinter and infect the next season’s new leaves. If your tree suffered total leaf loss for several years, consider using a fungicide to protect your tree. Cherry leaf spot starts out as purple spots on the upper surface of older leaves in early summer. Removing these leaves will reduce disease spores the next spring. Several spots may grow together into larger dead patches. Purpose and use – fungicide, algicide Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Contact your local county horticultural extension for advice that’s specific to your growing area. The center of the spot may fall out and leave small holes in the leaf. As the disease develops, the spots become rusty brown to totally brown and begin to appear on the undersides of the leaves. Sign up for our newsletter. At this time, all the leaves may become infected and trees can lose all of their leaves. Purple spots occasionally forms on leaf or fruit stems but infection on the fruit is rare. In orchard situations, the best option may be to mow the dropped leaves to chop them up and hasten composting. Most commonly a fungus called Blumeriella jaapii, once known as Coccomyces hiemali. The period between May and June is when the disease is most active. Are more likely to be damaged by winter injury. In years with frequent rains in May and June, the fungi can spread extremely quickly. In most cases, there is no need to get a harsh chemical from the gardening store that could harm you or your family. Take care to wait the complete 'post harvest interval' (PHI) listed on the label. If cherries are losing their leaves due to leaf spot, aggressive measures should be taken to control the disease. Leaf spot can be severe in one area and absent a few miles away. Rake up and compost fallen cherry leaves in September or October. Cherry leaf spot can be a devastating disease for tart cherries. Leaf spots are first purple but eventually turn brown. The fungus survives the winter in fallen leaves. Always completely read and follow all instructions on the fungicide label. Regents of the University of Minnesota. Leaves with many leaf spots turn yellow and fall off the tree. All rights reserved. To avoid fungicide resistance, alternate between myclobutanil and captan when making repeated fungicide applications. Leaf spot infections often dry up and fall out of the leaves. The fungus survives the winter in fallen leaves. Then spots can appear within 10 to 15 days after the leaf has become infected. Fungicides are not very affective once the tree is in full leaf and much of the foliage is infected. Prevention and treatment of both kinds often involve the same practices. Cherry leaves with spots are the first symptoms, especially on new leaves. Some copper fungicides are acceptable for organic production. Rake up and compost fallen cherry leaves in September or October. What causes cherry leaf spots? Hopefully, it’ll help make your holiday season as special as possible. During the latter part of May and the first half of June, small circular purple spots appear on the upper surface of the leaf (Figure 1). Fungicides work best if combined with sanitation. Once you have cherry leaves with spots, the best control is to set up preventive measures for the next season. Cherry leaf spot is most common on Morello cherry varieties, which are a type of sour cherry. Fungicides with an active ingredient of copper may provide some protection against leaf spot infection. The best temperature for infection is between 58 and 73 F. Young leaves aren’t likely to be infected until they become completely unfolded. Once the spores land on susceptible leaves, the spores will only germinate if the leaves are wet. Begin removing and destroying the dropped leaves at the understory. The causal fungi overwinter on infected dropped leaves. All varieties of tart cherry are likely to be affected by cherry leaf spot. Cherry season is a cheery time of year with pies and preserves the result of a good harvest.

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