Treatment for Sour Cherry Tree with Verticillium wilt

Cherry (including sour)    Avoca, NY

We have a young tree and a 10-12 year old northstar cherry tree which seems to have come down with Verticillium wilt. It was evident last year on a few branches. Some branches I took off, and some I couldn't remove.

This year, the tree looked healthy, it blossomed well, and the fruit set. However, now the tree appears 3/4 wilted. And, our young tree nearby has a few branches being affected as well.

Is there anything we can do to save the trees? We only have these two sour cherries, and we hate to lose them.

Thank you for your help!

Posted by: Bruce Archer (1 point) Bruce Archer
Posted: June 21, 2015

David Hughes commented,
Why do you think it is Verticillium Wilt? Can you supply some images
over 5 years ago.

Brandon Davis commented,
I agree with David some pictures would help. Verticillium wilt is a nasty disease that more often than not kills the plant outright( the entire tree will wilt and die). I'd recon you might instead have fireblight. Fireblight is very common in cherries and shows up on the branch tips and spreads downward wilting and killing the branch. The only control is to use preventative spray in the early spring (I'm not sure the mix, you'll have to call around as you'd need an applicators license to spray anyways), plant fireblight resistant trees, or to continually spray your trees for insects as its spread through sap sucking insects. If you have it you need to prune it ALL out and you need to sterilize your pruning tool between cuts or you'll spread it to your new cuts. Fireblight is a bacteria, it feeds in the sap and clogs the vascular tissue of the tree which in turns kills it. Its coomon in Rosa Plants such as roses, apples, plums etc... Verticilium wilt is fungii, it does the same thing but it starts in the roots. By the time you notice it, it has spread to the trunk and your tree and your tree is already dead. Verticilium wilt usually attacks trees that are not adapted to their proper environment as an example Drought tolerant desert Oaks planted in well watered turf i n California often die of Verticilium wilt.
over 5 years ago.


First, be sure what the problem is with a laboratory culture test. If it is verticillium wilt, this is a fungus that lives in the soil and can persist in the soil for 10 years. There aren’t any fungicides that will cure this; and even the best will only usually work for 1 growing season, no longer. Prune anything dead away; make sure to sterilize your pruners before pruning the 2nd tree. Make sure to try to keep the trees very healthy by proper fertilization but stay low on the nitrogen amounts and high on potassium. Too much fertilization can exacerbate disease problems. If you have to replace the trees, make sure the replacement is a species either immune or resistant to this problem. I wish I had better news!

Posted by: Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant (1 point) Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant
Posted: June 23, 2015

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