Flowering cherry trees are a bit different from, but closely related to, the fruit-bearing cherry tree. They are among the most popular and preferred ornamental tree in the country, and come in a variety of species from the genus, Prunus. Cherry Blossom, Japanese Flowering Cherry, Oriental Cherry, and Yoshino Cherry are just a few commonly sought-after species.
They grow in zones 4 through 6, thrive in full sun exposure, and produce abundant blooms of small and fragile pink and white blossoms. This makes them highly enjoyable and beautiful additions to any landscaping. But unfortunately, Flowering Cherry trees are prone to a bacterial infection known as Fire Blight. If you have Cherry trees on your property, continue reading to learn more about Fire Blight and how to manage an outbreak.
Contracting Fire Blight
Cherry trees are not the only vegetation prone to this bacterial infection. A long list of additional trees and host plants can become affected by Fire Blight as well. Examples include strawberries, raspberries, roses, apple trees, pear trees, and other members of the Rosaceae family. And since it is caused by a ‘Gram-negative bacterium’ called Erwinia amylovora, it can easily spread from one plant or tree to the next. Infection generally occurs around spring, in humid climates with temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Signs and Symptoms
For trees, leaves, limbs, and branches begin to discolor, turning black as if they were burnt. This is where the infection gets its name. Accordingly, cankers and other surface blemishes will appear on the bark and trunk of the tree. Wounded areas might also secrete an ‘ooze-like’ discharge. Not only do these effects make a Cherry tree unattractive, it can kill it too.
It is important to outsource professional tree care assistance for tree diseases and infestations. They have the knowledge, tools, and training to manage the problem without risk of spreading the bacteria to other flora and vegetation. In most cases of Fire Blight, professional tree service contractors will start by removing all of the affected areas. Next, they destroy the infected bits to prevent contamination. Then they finish with a comprehensive copper fungicide spray and antibiotic treatment.
They will likely suggest following up with some preventative sprays as well. This is not an exact itinerary for Fire Blight treatment, as all cases vary depending on a variety of individual factors. So it is important to use a licensed and experienced tree contractor to ensure that the proper methods are taken to manage your Fire Blight outbreak safely and effectively.
Source by Sarahbeth Kluzinski