What should be done about a Yoshino Cherry with Shot Hole Disease?
“Shot hole disease” is caused by the fungus blumeriella. Preventative fungicide treatments beginning in the early spring can help reduce the infection rate. The damage done to the leaves is usually fairly minor. The problem with this disease is that the tree will tend to drop many or all of the leaves during the hot dry part of the summer. With this in mind, the real health issue is losing several months of opportunity for photosynthesis to occur, therefore slowly depleting the trees’ energy reserves over years.
Success or failure managing the fungus itself depends on product selection, timing of application and application methods. This disease can only be prevented with fungicides and requires a series of well-timed applications for good results to be expected.
While it may be possible to somewhat manage the symptoms on your own, this disease is best managed with a comprehensive plan involving sound cultural practices like proper mulching, soil and root care and irrigation along with any fungicide treatments.
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