WSU Extension


Cherry : Dead bud
(revision date: 4/11/2018)

Dead bud is a common symptom caused by the same bacterium which causes bacterial cankers. Initial symptoms are death of buds on lower branches of the affected trees. This begins in February prior to leafing out. Both leaf and flower buds are affected, and spurs may be killed back. Slight gumming may occur at the base of killed buds. Repeated loss of buds can cause trees to become misshapen and have a reduced fruit yield.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Avoid use of susceptible varieties such as 'Bing', 'Lambert', 'Royal Ann', and 'Van'. Plant less susceptible types such as 'Black Republican' or 'Mazzard'.
  • Prune out and destroy infected tissues during dry weather. Do this in the summer, when it is easiest to distinguish killed spurs. Disinfect pruning tools between cuts.
  • Cold damage may increase severity of this disease. Do not plant in cold pockets or other locations where cold injury is likely to occur.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Focus on cultural controls. Apply postharvest prior to fall rains and in early January. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bonide Infuse Systemic Disease Control
    Active ingredient: propiconazole  |  EPA reg no: 100-773-4
  • Bonide Liquid Copper Fungicide Conc/Organic Gardening
    Active ingredient: copper octanoate  |  EPA reg no: 67702-2-4
  • Soap-Shield Flowable Liquid Copper Fungicide [Organic]
    Active ingredient: copper octanoate  |  EPA reg no: 67702-2-56872
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Dead bud from Pseudomonas infection
Photo by: R.S. Byther