What’s wrong with my Utah Giant sweet cherry?


utah giant cherry treeLast year I planted a Utah Giant sweet cherry. Until the last few days, it looked healthy. But recently the leaves lost their vigor and turned a light color. I would appreciate knowing the problem.


Liz Stanley, Community Education Assistant, Horticulture

The leaves look like they’re on their way out. If they’re diseased, it would be good to remove them immediately, taking care to handle them without touching other leaves and stems. When watering the tree, avoid getting the leaves wet. Keeping the area around the trees open will help with air circulation.

Brown rot is the most common disease of stone fruit, and often attacks new leaf shoots and flower buds at the tips of branches. Look for fuzzy brown growth. Here’s more information in our Growing Fruit Trees in Maine website.

The good news: Utah Giant is one of the few disease resistant cherry varieties available. Some nurseries are now offering semi-dwarf trees for home gardeners. These are easier to care for and harvest. Be aware of pollination requirements.

If you think the problem is something other than brown rot, you can send a number of leaf samples to our plant disease lab. Here’s information on how to send a plant sample with a form.