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A Note From Your Local Arborist

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Cherry Bud Rot is being seen right now across communities in North Carolina.


What is Cherry Bud Rot? 

  • A fungus that attacks the flowers and new leaves of the Prunus species of trees. This includes Cherries, Peach, Apricot, and other stone fruit trees.   
  • Common in more northern climates that have cooler spring temperatures. 
  • Attacks mostly during damp or rainy conditions. While it is not uncommon in NC it is usually not as severe as i'm seeing now. (Most of the past month we have seen below normal temperatures combined with normal or better rainfall. This has created a prime environment for fungus to grow.)

How Does Bud Rot Infect Trees? 

  •  Infects the blossoms and leaf buds as they open. The disease progresses slowly at first and goes mostly unnoticed. Just as the flowers are about to drop or as fruit is forming the rot accelerates.
  • The flowers and leaves curl and turn brown. Sometimes they can be covered with black spores.
  • The blight can kill twigs and even branches but fortunately this disease is not normally fatal to the tree. It can however weaken a tree and open it up to other stresses.

What is the best prescription for recovery? Some TLC should do the trick!

  •  Prune the twigs or branches that have succumbed to the blight. Be sure to sanitize the tool between cuts with a 25% solution of bleach and water. 
  • Water the tree as needed. Once or twice a week with 10-20 gallons per tree should be sufficient during hot dry conditions. Be careful not to over water. Remember that the signs of drought (wilting) and drowning (wilting) are the same.
  • Fertilize trees in fall or early spring to help it recover. A deep root fertilization treatment is a go-to here at Carolina Tree Care. 

Cherry Bud Rot is not typically seen as an annual occurrence in NC, but is dependent on what weather we experience throughout the springtime. To note: After initial treatment, automatically scheduling treatments for next year can be done but may not be necessary.

If you have questions concerning your trees and plants, i'm just a phone call away and would love to talk with you. Schedule a free consultation today. 

ArborWISE Consultation


Certified Arborist, 

Rick Pearce