Beware of black knot disease on cherry, chokecherry and plum trees -- pictures
Black Knot Disease
The problem with Black Knot disease is that the tree is infected with this fungus two years before you see any sign of the problem. The fungus grows under the bark and is invisible until the branches begin to swell. Rain spreads the spores.
Check your tree each spring to make sure there are no swollen branches. If you find rough swollen branches cut them off. If you find black gulls growing on your branches you are in big trouble. These branches with the black gulls must be cut back at least six inches beyond the healthy part of the branch.. Every single branch with these gulls must be cut -- you can show no mercy. The cut branches must be removed and disposed of in such a way the spores cannot escape into the air or be subject to rain. If you leave them for curb pick up you might want to lable the bag. It is probably not a good idea to burn them, but you could cut them up and bury them.
These are beautiful trees and if they bear fruit it is even more important to keep a close eye on them.
Leaves riddled by beetles -- I thought they were the problem, I was wrong -- it was Black Knot Desease.
Look for branches that are rough and swollen.
This was taken last spring -- the damage was not so obvious. Had I known what it was and what to do I could have avoided the worst stage.
Black gulls need to be cut out -- I did not realize the importance of removing all the gulls.
Swollen stems are hard to see look closely.
You can see the swollen stems if you look closely.
These pictures were taken the next spring.
The whole entire tree was over taken by the black gulls.
The only thing to be done is to cut these branches away and disgard them very carefully.
In the end a white mold grows on this fungus and sadly your tree is disfigured and weakened.
I had to cut the tree back really hard as the damage was so bad.
New hope after cutting the tree branches back really hard, I hope the tree recovers.
Lots of new branches -- looks like it will make it -- not as graceful but it will survive.
The tree is still growing and looking healthy.
September -- the single branches are developing branches.
It is now June 2013 and the tree is much bigger than when I first trimmed it.
The tree is fully restored.
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