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I have an approximately 25-year-old weeping cheery in my front yard. This year as soon as the blossoms appeared, there was an approximately 80 to 90% die back of blossoms and future leaf buds. As of right now, many of the tree's tentacles (branches) are dead or dying. Yesterday while driving down Roxbury Rd. in Niantic, I noticed 2 other houses with Weeping cherries with the same condition. Is it possible there is a blight or fungus affecting these trees and is it possible these trees will survive? Thank you Paul


Paul's Tree in better years Dear Paul,
The wet and cool spring has created the perfect environment for fungal diseases to develop. There are several possibilities of fungal diseases that could be affecting your tree:

Cherry Leaf Spot
Verticillium Wilt
Phytophthora Root and Crown Rot
Armillaria Root Rot

Each of these diseases causes leaf drop.

I would suggest that you contact the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Plant Disease Information Office at 203-974-8601 or go to their website. There's a protocol to follow to submit a sample to the station, so they can tell you exactly what the disease is and how to correct it.

In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you clean up all the dead leaves under the tree and put them into a plastic bag and properly dispose of the bag. Do not put the leaves into your compost pile or spread them into the surrounding woodland. The diseased leaves sitting on the ground will deposit fungal spores into the soil which will re-infect the tree next year if we have another wet, cool spring.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.


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