We know that cherries are one of the most delicate fruits, as they are prone to breaking and overripe easily. And like its fruit, the cherry tree must be treated with great delicacy to avoid diseases that could ruin a good season’s production.
Specifically during the dormant season, there are several fungi and bacteria that can attack orchards, producing diseases in the wood that, if not managed properly, can even cause the death of the plants.
Do you know about these diseases? The first step to face them is to identify them…
1. Bacterial cancer
One of the most common diseases is bacterial cancer. The Pseudomonas syringae is the causative agent of this disease, also known as bacterial cancer. Unlike other threats, it is relatively easy to identify as there is more knowledge about it.
Initially, it can be identified because it produces brown exudations or gummosis, which has a characteristic fermenty smell. When the gummosis is removed from under the bark, a “wound” in the form of a crack can be observed from where the “gum” is secreted.
Another less visible characteristic during the recess season is the death of vegetative material, whether branches, twigs, buds or the trees themselves. This can be identified by observing and making cuts in structures that appear more dehydrated and with a less vibrant color of the wood.
The branches usually break easily and, when observing the internal tissue, it already has a brown color, or green with brown tones. In addition, they usually present a fermenty odor characteristic of the disease, depending on the section in which the attack occurred, which results in no irrigation of sap due to the death of the conductive tissue.
2. Cytopspora and Calosphaeria
These fungi are often confused with the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae, since they have very similar symptoms. However, in this case the exudations produced by the plant do not have a fermented smell. In addition, when the “gum” comes off, cracked wounds are not observed either.
But, as happens with bacterial cancer, the wood begins to dehydrate, although in this case it becomes very soft, just like a wine cork or a piece of rotten wood.
In the case of Cytospora, when observing under the bark of the compromised branches you can see small spots or fruit bodies known as “peritecia” or “spignideans”, which feed on the sap and block the passage of nutrients and the water to the rest of the branches and the tree in general.
It is a particularly dangerous disease that must be treated in time, otherwise the plant can suffer its consequences very quickly.
3. Silver Leaf
This well-known wood fungus is usually quickly identified, mainly by the cracking and detachment of the bark. In some cases, dull-colored wood can be observed in the initial stages of the disease.
This fungus also causes the death of branches, trunks, and even trees. In extreme cases, in autumn-winter times you can see their fruit bodies.
The Silver Leaf becomes more visible during times of vegetative activity, since the fungus installed in the wood produces a toxin that travels through the vascular bundles and is deposited on the leaves, leaving them a silvery color.
When plants enter dormancy, their metabolism and their ability to activate their defenses considerably decrease. In turn, during this time the most critical and susceptible moments for the entry of these diseases occur, such as the fall of leaves, which generates natural wounds; frost, which generates microcracks; and the free movement of pathogens by water or high percentage of humidity.
For this reason, the care of trees during this period is especially relevant. Among the most used strategies is the application of fungicides, a topic that we will develop in detail in Smartcherry.world
Originally published on Smartcherry.cl