Cherry Tree Leaves:
The leaves of cherries are not only beautiful but they provide many benefits to the fruit trees. The leaves protect the fruit from sunburn and keep it fresh longer. They also prevent insects from eating away at the fruits and keeping them healthy.
The leaves act as a barrier between the soil and the air, preventing erosion and protecting against wind damage. The leaves also serve as food for birds, bees, butterflies, moths, flies etc.
There are several types of leaves on cherries. The greenish-yellow petioles (the lower branches) are called the “petals”. These petals contain chlorophyll which gives the leaves their color.
There are two other kinds of leaves on cherries; white and pink. White or whitestripe leaves have small yellow spots on them, while pink or purplestripes have large red spots. The petioles are usually attached to the branch with a thin stalk called a stolon. Stolons grow from the top of the tree up to about three feet above ground level. When there is too much rain, these stolons break off and fall down into the soil where they become roots. Roots take nutrients from the soil and pass them along to new plants growing nearby.
Cherry Blossom Leaf Problems:
Traditionally, the leaves of the cherry trees have always been called “cherry blossom” due to their beauty. The leaves are nice but they have some problems and diseases that can affect them. Just like human skin, the leaves can be affected by various disorders such as rashes, stains and infections.
The most common problem that strikes this beautiful tree is leaf spot disease. It’s easy to treat if you catch it early.
The other common cherry tree disease is drought. Most people don’t realize that cherries are really thirsty plants and they need at least an inch of water every week. If there is a lack of water, the leaves may shrivel, curl or turn brown and this may cause leaf fall.
This condition can be treated by watering the ground around the tree every week. It’s also a good idea to put some mulch around the base of the plant to retain moisture.
Deformed leaves may be caused by a number of reasons. One common cause is the accumulation of fluoride and chlorine in the soil. These elements are found in most tap water in small quantities.
If you over water your plant with tap water, these elements will build up and deform the leaves. Use filtered or bottled water if this occurs. Another common cause is the accumulation of salt in the soil. This happens when you over-fertilize your plant. If you see this problem, you should flush your soil with plenty of water.
Leaves with brown tips:
Cherries have a habit of sucking up any salt that’s in the soil. This could cause the leaves to turn brown at the tips first. You should flush the soil well with plain water to get rid of the salt.
Another reason might be that you are overwatering your plant. Make sure that you don’t water it too much because this can also cause leaf-tip burn.
Leaves with yellow spots:
This problem can be caused by several things. One cause could be the accumulation of certain minerals in the soil. If you live in an area with hard water, this could be a problem.
Just flush the soil with plain water to get rid of the minerals. Another cause could be a disease called “Jungle Rot” which is common in places with high humidity such as Florida and Hawaii. There is no real cure for this disease except to replace the plant.
Leaves with light and dark green stripes:
This problem is probably due to the mineral content in the soil. If you can, transplant the tree to a new spot where the soil has a different composition. If this is not possible, you can try flushing the soil with water as described above.
Leaves with light and dark brown stripes:
This is a sign that you are watering the plant too much. The soil should be dry to the touch before you water it again. Be careful not to let the plant get bone dry though as this can cause all sorts of problems such as leaf drop.
It could also mean that you have over-fertilized the plant and the nutrients are burning the edges of the leaves. If you suspect this to be the cause, scale back on the strength of your fertilizer a little bit.
Leaves with brown edges and yellow spots:
This is probably due to the same reason as above, only in this case the soil is staying too wet. Make sure you don’t over-water it in the future.
Yellowing of entire plant:
This could have several causes.
Sources & references used in this article:
Cherry leaf spot disease management in ornamental cherries in mid-Tennessee by J Joshua, MT Mmbaga… – … Journal of Plant Science, 2016 – NRC Research Press
Influence of cherry leaf-spot on changes in the content of phenolic compounds in sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) leaves by J Oszmiański, A Wojdyło – Physiological and molecular plant pathology, 2014 – Elsevier
The epidemiology and control of cherry leaf spot. by GW Keitt, EC Blodgett, EE Wilson… – Wisconsin Research …, 1937 – cabdirect.org
Perpetuation of cherry leaf spot disease in ornamental cherry by J Joshua, MT Mmbaga – Journal of Phytopathology, 2015 – Wiley Online Library