Cherry’s have many pests and diseases that can harm the tree and the cherries. Here
are some fruit pests that target cherry trees:
Coryneum Blight (Shothole)
Shothole attacks dormant leaf buds, blossom buds, leaves, fruit, and twigs (fruit
infections are less common on cherry). The first visible lesions occur on young leaves
as small, round, purplish-black spots. Eventually these infections fall out, leaving
round holes, and giving this disease its name. Circular lesions may develop on fruit
that first appear as reddish spots, and later as rough, corky bumps. Prune and destroy
all infected plant tissue. Prevent irrigation water from wetting leaves. For severe
infections, apply copper spray in fall starting at 50% leaf drop to protect newly
Gummosis is a general term describing the prolific oozing of sap from a tree. Gumming
is produced in response to a variety of conditions, including insects, diseases, and
wounding, and is most common on peach, apricot, and sweet cherry. It can also be a
response to poor growing conditions, such as compacted soil. Winter injury to the
trunk and limbs is a common cause of gummosis. To most accurately identify the cause
of gummosis, consult your local Extension agent.
Western Cherry Fruit Fly
Western cherry fruit fly is a common pest of cherries in northern and central Utah.
Every cherry on a single tree can be infested by a maggot if populations are high.
Adults are identified by a distinct banding pattern on the wings. They lay eggs by
piercing through the fruit, about the time when the fruit begins to turn a salmon
blush color. Cherry fruit fly is a quarantine pest for commercial growers so it is
important for backyard growers to treat their trees to help reduce the population.
Adults can be monitored with Pherocon AM (yellow sticky) traps. To prevent egg-laying
in fruits, treat by 5-7 days after the first flies are detected or when fruits develop
a salmon-blush color. Recommended insecticides include spinosad, carbaryl, malathion,