Fungus growth on cherry tree

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Jamaz, Mar 2, 2020.

  1. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Hello all!

    I am located on Salt Spring Island.
    I just noticed some fungus growing on my mature sweet cherry tree.
    It has appeared on one branch so far and doesn't appear to be elsewhere at this time.

    My first reaction was to cut the branch off, but the tree has started to bud and I don't want to make things worse....

    Appreciate the thoughts and ideas.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    8,259
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    My understanding that this type of fungus is adventitious - it's not that it harms the tree, but rather grows on already dead wood. An arborist should be able to tell you whether the rest of the tree is stable.
     
  3. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Thanks Wendy.
    The tree was pruned in a poor way several years ago, which I assume has contributed to the poor health.
    I will nurture it as best I can over the coming years and will allow one or more of the may suckers that pop up around this beauty to be its successor(s).
     
  4. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    8,259
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    You would want to have it checked if there are limbs overhanging something that could be damaged were the limb to fall.
     
  5. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Yes, safety first as they say!
    No risk at this point to anything other than grass.
     
  6. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Jamaz, if you are contemplating the use of suckers that pop up from the base of the tree or the ground around it, you should be aware that the resulting tree may be nothing like the existing tree. If the tree has good fruit or nice flowers, it probably is a grafted horticultural variety; and any low level suckers will be derived from its rootstock, which is usually very different from the upper part of the tree.
     
    wcutler, Jamaz and Margot like this.
  7. Sarah Duke

    Sarah Duke New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida
    My apple tree had a similar thing 2 years ago, but a lot less. I cut off all the fungus and top layer of a trunk and covered cuts with copper sulfate. No signs of fungus since.
     
    Jamaz likes this.
  8. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Thanks Sarah!
    Your message has offered some hope....
    I will look into doing something similar.
     
  9. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Thanks Vitog....
    I made the assumption(!) that since the tree grows to 30+ feet, it is not on a dwarf or semi-dwarf root stock, so must be original root stock....
    In the absence of a graft union, how can I determine if the tree and root stock are original?

    A couple of years ago, a neighbour took some suckers to propagate for her food forest, so I can check in with her, but it may be too soon to know.
     
  10. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Jamaz, most named varieties of fruit trees have been grown on different root stocks for a long time, and dwarfing root stocks for cherry trees are a relatively recent phenomenon. I planted a Stella cherry tree about 45 years ago, and it was on a labelled semi-dwarfing rootstock. It quickly grew to about 20 ft tall, at which point I started pruning it down to something that I could reach with a reasonable ladder. I've noted that just about everything planted on the Wet Coast grows taller than advertised. When I planted that tree, most of the cherry trees for sale were on standard root stocks, which would probably grow to 50 ft tall. If your tree has decent quality fruit, it was very likely grafted. However, there is the possibility that the graft union was buried below the soil line at some time in the past. This could have resulted in the development of roots and subsequent suckers arising from above the graft union. I'm not sure how to tell if the suckers are different from the top growth, but it wouldn't hurt to compare the buds, new growth, and leaf details of the two and see if there are any obvious differences.
     
    Daniel Mosquin and Margot like this.
  11. Margot

    Margot Contributor

    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    397
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, BC Canada
    Regarding Vitog's reply to Jamaz . . . I am so impressed with this synthesis of knowledge and experience. It's a good example of what makes these forums such a valuable resource.
     
    Daniel Mosquin likes this.
  12. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    8,259
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Not that it's necessarily going to help with anything, but have you taken photos of this tree that you would show us?
    I have seen a few big old (and attractive) Prunus avium trees here that were almost certainly not grafted. I think the point is really that if the fruits were big and tasty, or if the flowers were relatively large and attractive, or if the tree shape was broad and beautiful, then you probably should not expect to see that from the suckers.
     
  13. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Learning lots here!
    I so appreciate all the comments and the wealth of information and knowledge shared here.
    From asking a simple question about fungus, I'm learning so much!

    As far as a photo of the tree itself..., when it was pruned in a poor way several years ago, the centre was taken out, so it is no longer the attractive tree it once was.
    I'll see if I can get a nice photo today while I'm out in my orchard.

    Thanks so much for all the help!
     
  14. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    The fruit on this tree is plentiful and beautifully dark red and sweet.
    I managed to get 80 pounds a year except when the birds or raccoons got to them first!
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

    Messages:
    20,202
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    WA USA (Z8)
    Those fruit characters would ordinarily make it a sweet cherry (Prunus avium). While at the same time named, grafted horticultural selections of this species have been frequently planted locally it also remains true that this species is a weed in our region, that invades woodlands, grows as tall or taller than adjacent native trees in such setttings. (Resulting in a percentage of local treed hillsides becoming white at sweet cherry tree flowering time). As well as forming suckering groves where allowed to in open places - its presence on a site here does not automatically imply an intentional planting. However if your example is producing large and appealing fruits probably it was planted there, consists of a clonal cultivar grafted on a stock that will not be identical to the scion. With random self sown seedlings varying in fruit quality, this aspect often comparatively poor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
    Jamaz likes this.
  16. vitog

    vitog Rising Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    117
    Location:
    Burnaby, Canada
    Jamaz, any sucker, whether from the root stock or the main trunk, will grow into a standard size tree that will mainly be good for birds and racoons. I recommend replacing the tree with a self-fertile sweet cherry, such as Stella (many other varieties are now available), on a dwarfing rootstock. If you keep part of the current tree alive for a while, you could try grafting a scion or two from that tree onto the new tree to have two varieties of cherries to harvest.
     
    Jamaz likes this.
  17. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Hello again,

    I sure do appreciate all the great advice and information I received so far on my cherry tree question!
    It appears that my tree may be on the way out sooner than feared.

    One large branch has started dying and I have a coupe of questions.

    Should remove it right away or wait until it is dormant?
    Could this be related to the past poor pruning the tree has suffered from?

    I have attached a couple of photos of the progression of die back.
    Thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

    Messages:
    8,259
    Likes Received:
    762
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Is that the branch where the fungus was growing?
     
  19. Jamaz

    Jamaz New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Salt Spring Island
    Thanks for asking!

    No, it is not the same branch.
     

Share This Page