? Sudden death, 10 year old cherry tree

I've been out of town for 3 weeks; I got back last night. My sour cherry tree looked perfectly healthy when I left, but now all the leaves are dead and brown -- except for about 10 leaves that aren't *quite* dead yet. I looked around the base of the tree for signs of a peach tree borer, but nothing. I also don't see any insect or mite damage to the leaves. The ground under the tree is neither really dry nor really wet. I don't see any twisted growth like you might find if someone sprayed it with herbicide.
Any idea what might have caused this? Is there any hope for the tree?
Best regards, Bob
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that sure sounds suspicious Bob. I'd call your extension agent and have them come out and diagnose it for you. That's what they get paid for. Look under the government pages.............good luck, let us know what it is. madgardener

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First check if the tree is truely dead, or just under a lot of stress from some disease, or insect. Make random scrapings of the bark and check that the layer just under it is still green (the cambium layer). If it is brown, that portion of the tree is gone. If the tree shows indications of life, put in on a regular spray schedule of fungicide and pesticide (if you haven't already done so). The tree may recover next year, so don't be in a big hurry to cut it down, unless you find it is mostly dead wood. My Montmorency had a bad spotted leaf problem last year, but seems to have recovered this year with a fair crop of cheeries. You might try moving some of the dirt from around the base of the tree to check for insect invasion.
Sherwin D.
zxcvbob wrote:

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sherwindu wrote:

You are recommending spraying with fungicide and insecticide when the OP doesn't know what the problem is yet?
Idiot.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 07:01:29 GMT, "Travis"

I would not diagnose the poster as an idiot without further data. However, his post does show considerable ignorance about the use of pesticides (note: a fungicide is a pesticide).
When using any pesticide READ THE LABEL. The label will tell you which pests can be controlled and how to apply the product. You will notice that each pest so described is specific and the product should be used only for those pests on those plants listed.
But we are ahead of ourselves. The first step is to diagnose the pest. In this case, it sounds like a fungal infection but further investigation is needed to confirm that.
Where are you located? Describe the dead and dieing leaves in as much detail as possible. Any other signs that might give a clue?
John
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Travis wrote:

I was actually thinking of painting the bark with Lindane or Dursban or Cygon or nicotine sulfate (something that will penetrate the bark to the cambium) in case there's an infestation of bark beetles that hasn't emerged yet.
I'm not going to cut the tree down until it doesn't leaf out next year.
Bob
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wrote:

Good idea! Then send the fruit to W......
sheesh! Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
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Tom Jaszewski wrote:

What fruit? I'm trying to save the tree. I'm pretty sure those are (were) all listed for borers in fruit trees but I will have to read the labels. (I'll call the County Agent tomorrow)
Bob
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Does the tree shade part of your neighbour's yard, or block their view, or drop leaves into their pool, or might its roots be near their pipes or house foundations, or taking nutrients from their garden? Are relations with your neighbours somewhat strained?
--
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)


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John Savage wrote:

No, no, no, no, etc.
Any my wife likes this tree too, so that's not it.
Bob
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zxcvbob wrote:

LOL. :-) those were all good questions, weren't they? Bob, in spite of the encouragement that others have given, I would bet the farm that your tree is dead. Both sour cherries that I have owned over the years died in a similar way. (but not exactly) My trees went into fall colors and dropped their leaves in August. The next spring they were 100% dead. I had at least one plum do that too. No visible explanation for it either. I have also had apples leaf out and look normal in the spring then stop growing and the leaves wilt and go brown. That happens in June or early July. I believe with the apples it is a case of winter injury to the trunk and/or branches. The damage seems delayed because the buds open and only wilt after the damaged wood can't transport enough water to keep them going. (not likely your problem) I live where it gets to 30 below nearly every year and some years to -40. Weird things happen to my trees.
Steve in the Adirondacks
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wrote:

I I think I may have lost a pear tree the same way this summer. It is in a place where it usually does not need water (base of a hill), but we have had a drought and the lack of water seems to have killed it. Still, I have a few leaves left, and I am watering in the hope it makes a comeback next year. If not, I'll cut it down then. It did alert me to the stress my other fruit trees were under, and they seem to be doing OK now.
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