Vandalay Cherry, brown rot?

yawineyApril 18, 2013

I got a Vandalay bareroot, planted in Feb and all the growth it puts out is turning brown and drying up. Now there is less growth on the wood than 2 weeks ago and hardly any of the leaves have matured. My other 3 cherries have full size leaves already and they broke bud over a week later than the Vandalay.
I have read that brown rot only shows up later when there is fruit but this fits it's description. Anyone have experience?
Should i pull it so it dosen't spread to the others that are very close by?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

That doesn't sound like brown rot. Could they be too wet or too dry? It sounds more like something is wrong with the growing conditions rather than a disease. But it's hard to tell without a picture or some knowledge of your soil and weather.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:08AM
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It's in a huge raised bed with the 3 other cherries. Vandalay and Nugent from Raintree on Gisela 5 (the Nugent also has the problem but not as bad). Utah Giant on New Root and Stella on Maheleb. The Stella and Giant are both doing well.
The raised bed is up over 2 ft from the ground due to high winter water table. The mix is native sandy loam topsoil, top soil i bought, compost, rice hulls, a little peat moss and some worm castings. The bed is about 14' X 8'. We had a really dry winterfor this area(west sonoma county, ca). All the trees seemed to like it(not too much water). I have watered 2 times, but a really big soak each time since the end of march. My other trees are only up 1 ft- less than 2ft in their raised beds. All are doing well except for some figs with the 1st leaves coming out then the edges turn brown before they mature. It feells moist under there.
Mabey i watered the cherries too much because the bed is so high i thought i needed to??

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 12:29AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I don't have that much experience but I have had a cherry have die off on the central leader. Almost like a gangrene. It happened from the nursery cut, I didn't head cut the tree. The top set of leaves died. I cut off the infected part and the tree was fine. I had to make it an opened centered tree as I had to remove a lot of the central leader. It branched from there, and formed good scaffolds. Then the tree was girdled by voles, but only about 75%. In it's 3rd year it has recovered from both problems and is producing flowers.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:30AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I think it's a watering issue. Gisela 5 is supposed to be tolerant of wet feet and given that it was just planted it could be too little water. Try smaller waterings at least once a week. The tree still has a very small root system. Big waterings are only going to help a big root system. Right now they would just make things too wet.

It's still possible it's something else. A picture might help.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Good advice. I'll work on getting the pics.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Won't let me post pics. Vandalay is looking worse, many places the buds completely died off. Nugent the same. U.Giant and Stella on the other rootstocks are doing great??

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 7:01PM
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I have a Vandalay and a Black Gold on Gisela 5 (from Raintree, too). I planted them in the spring of 2010. The area where I planted them could get a little wet when it rains a lot (no standing water). I thought they would not like it. Turned out, they survive and thrive.

The problems I have are canker and cracking. Not much canker, though, a little here and there (I sprayed Kocide both late fall and early spring). All fruits cracked last year.

Raintree sent me big bare root trees. The trunks were about about 1" big (or even bigger) and about 4 ft.tall. At the time I thought they were great trees, not knowing that smaller and shorter trees could have been better.

I've tried to keep them no more than 8 ft. It's not easy. The trees grow fast each year. Black Gold fruited in 2nd year, Vandalay in 3rd year (last year).

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:40PM
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I've been watering less amounts every couple days now. I think if it was a watering issue i would see some quik sign of improvement. Good to know the Gisela's can handle a little wetness in winter. I may not have had to build them this monster raised bed. How was the fruit on the Vandalay?(besides the cracking).
Any idea if this dying off of young leaves could be brown rot? Katie at raintree thought brown rot. Iv'e also read on here that brown rot dosen't effect trees until they have fruited. i'm trying to get the pics up but it says the files are too big.
My Utah giant just showed today something that looked like sap leak. Hope it's not canker.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:28PM
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Our wetness is from heavy rain in the spring. It pours at times. Water is everywhere but it goes away within a couple of hours.

When you said "a little wetness in winter", you mean snow or rain? We have snow, a lot of it, at times. This past winter, we got 10-20" a few times.

All fruit cracked. By the time, I checked them, they all rotted so I did not eat any. Fruit size was good, about the same size on both varieties.

Oh, anyother issue I have is aphids, so many of them. Vandalay leaves are in such tight clustrs that spraying does not seem to do the job. I get aphids on Black Gold, too. I just squished them, disgusting but satisfactory.

I'll check the trees more carefully this year. It could be time for brown rot to visit.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Here is swampy in winter. At the bottom of the watershed. Willows and Cottonwood and alot of mistle toe. Hence the big raised beds for the trees. This yr. was real dry though. Didn't know aphids went for cherries. Got them on my high bush cranberry and of course the kale.
Any advice on posting pictures here. Says the file's too big.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:44PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

It sounds like either the trees did not transplant well (e.g. they were not well-cared for by the nursery that dug them up), or there is something in the soil amendment that the trees don't like. There isn't anything you can do about either of these unfortunately. It could also be water. I doubt it is brown rot; there should be a slimy goo on the tips if its brown rot shoot blight.

To post a picture thats too big use a photo editor to make a smaller version.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 8:25AM
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I too thought of what Scottfsmith posted. Since you planted the cherry in February, it leafed out but all the
new growth now dying and the leaves small?

I wonder if it is a root issue. Sometimes fruit trees dug too early for cold storage (not dormant enough) or subjected to too low temps can have root
death. The tops will still leaf out but soon wither up.

My question is on the cambium. IF you scratch the bark is the cambium layer a nice green? Just wondering.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Finally Pics! I will scratch the cambium after this post. Posting1 at a time 1st.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:21PM
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Utah G and Stella look good in same raised bed

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Nugent also on G-5.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 4:36PM
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Cambium is green even in the parts that are just bare wood.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

As spartan states that looks like a tree that was not good when it arrived. Along with how it was dug/stored it could have been shipped when it was too cold outside and the roots frozen.

Its not that late in the season, you may be able to get a replacement this year if you look around.


    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 10:18PM
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Thanks i'll see if they can still replace it.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:23PM
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