WSU Extension


Cherry : Leaf spot
(revision date: 5/1/2015)

Leaf spot of cherry causes purple to reddish-brown spots on the leaves. The spots are up to 1/10" in diameter. In wet weather, the underside of the spots may produce cream-colored to pinkish masses of spores. Leaves may also turn yellow and drop soon after infection, or drop prematurely in the fall. This disease can result in minor to severe defoliation, which may affect fruit development. Spots sometimes occur on fruit stems, causing fruit to drop. Occasional infections occur on fruit. Mild, wet weather during the summer increases incidence of disease. The fungus overwinters in fallen diseased leaves. Sour cherries and sweet cherries grown west of the Cascades are more commonly infected.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Rake and destroy fallen leaves.
  • The application of nitrogen to the leaves in the fall will enhance the decomposition of the fallen leaves.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply fungicides just before blossoms open, at full bloom, and when most or all of the blossom petals have fallen. Do not use sulfur products during bloom west of the Cascades. Applications made to control brown rot will also control cherry leaf spot. 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 Fung-onil Multi-Purpose Fungicide Conc
    Active ingredient: chlorothalonil  |  EPA reg no: 60063-9-4
  • GardenTech Daconil Fungicide Conc
    Active ingredient: chlorothalonil  |  EPA reg no: 67572-82-71004
  • Hi-Yield Snake Eyes Dusting Wettable Sulfur
    Active ingredient: sulfur  |  EPA reg no: 7401-188-34911
  • Lilly Miller Sulfur Dust Fungicide/Insecticide Dust or Spray
    Active ingredient: sulfur  |  EPA reg no: 802-16
  • Ortho Max Garden Disease Control Conc
    Active ingredient: chlorothalonil  |  EPA reg no: 239-2522
  • Spectracide IMMUNOX Multi-Purpose Fungicide Spray Conc
    Active ingredient: myclobutanil  |  EPA reg no: 9688-123-8845
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Cherry leaf spot
Photo by: C.R. Foss
Caption: Cherry leaf spot
Photo by: R.S. Byther