Cherry Tree Woes

I have noted that the leaves of our one year old cherry tree are being attacked by something that is eating them and leaving holes behind. I have attached a photograph that demonstrates the problem. I have read that I should spray the leaves with diluted Neem Oil to deal with the problem. However, I thought it best to seem some advice here before doing anything so I would be most grateful for any tips on what is going on here and what I should do about it.
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FredAt


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On 5/8/12 11:29 PM, FredAt wrote:

That looks like shot-hole disease (a fungus) and not an insect. Take a leaf to a good plant nursery -- not a hardware store or lumber yard -- for a good diagnosis.
If it is shot-hole, there is little you can do now. Next year, you should spray the entire tree with Bordeaux mixture (copper sulfate and lime) or some other copper-based fungicide. You do this twice: immediately after pruning and again just as the flower buds swell and start to show a little color.
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David E. Ross
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Thanks. I took a closer look at the tree and eventually spotted the cause. Under some of the leaves I have found little deposits of what look like caviar or mini papaya seed - see the photo. I have also noted that the leaf stems have little red "pods" on them. There are a few black ants but I think they are actually helping by taking out the "caviar" though I am not sure.
Any ideas what this might be and what, if anything I can do about it. I should mention that I am not in the least bit keen on using chemical pesticides of any description.
'David E. Ross[_2_ Wrote: > ;958337']On 5/8/12 11:29 PM, FredAt wrote:-

> going

> http://www.gardenbanter.co.uk/attachment.php?attachmentid 972|

> (http://www.rossde.com/garden/diary )
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FredAt


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FredAt;958323 Wrote: > I have noted that the leaves of our one year old cherry tree are being > attacked by something that is eating them and leaving holes behind. I > have attached a photograph that demonstrates the problem. I have read > that I should spray the leaves with diluted Neem Oil to deal with the > problem. However, I thought it best to seem some advice here before > doing anything so I would be most grateful for any tips on what is going > on here and what I should do about it.
1) Select your variety carefully. Consult your local gardening club for the best varieties to grow in your zone. Cherries also come in sweet and tart varieties, so decide what you will use them for as well. Tart cherry trees are less vigorous, which means less pruning, easier to grow and do somewhat better in poorer soils than sweet cherry trees.
2) Choose your growing location. Cherry trees need deep, well-drained soil with a slightly acid pH. All fruit trees will bear more fruit if planted in a sunny location and sweet cherry trees need lots of room to grow, about 18 to 24 feet apart to allow for this growth. Tart cherry trees can be planted closer between 15 and 18 feet apart.
3) Plant more than one cherry tree. Just like apple trees, some cherry tree varieties are self-fertile, meaning you will get some fruit even if you only have one tree, while some are not, meaning you will have to plant more than one tree so they can pollinate one another. But you will always get more fruit if you plant more than one tree.
4) Apply fertilizer evenly under the spread of the branches when growing cherry trees. Do this about a month or two before spring growth starts. Use less for a young tree and more for an older cherry tree.
5) Prune In the spring. Cherry trees can be pruned in a fan shape or a bush. For the first 3 years pruning is vigorous. For a one-year-old tree, prune the first year by cutting 18 to 24 inches off the main stem. This sounds harsh, but it must be done to encourage lateral growth and fruiting.
6) Drape the entire tree with bird netting in the summer to protect the fruit from birds. Pick sweet cherries when ripe and cut off sour cherries to avoid damaging the spurs.
7) Mulch your cherry tree in the fall with a layer of garden compost. This will help protect the surface roots from frost and encourage healthy spring growing.
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allen73


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Thank you for sharing these messages,very informative for me .Thanks
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sungirl


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