WSU Extension


Cherry : Little cherry
(revision date: 5/20/2014)

Little cherry is caused by a virus transmitted by the apple mealybug and by grafting. Affected trees show symptoms primarily on the fruit, which may be smaller than normal, slow to ripen, and somewhat pointed or triangular. Dark-fruited varieties may not ripen past the bright red stage. Lighter varieties may have pinkish fruit. Affected fruit has a bland or rather bitter flavor. Foliage on affected trees may be lighter in color than normal trees, and growth may be somewhat reduced. Sweet, sour, and ornamental cherries may carry the little cherry virus. Fruit symptoms are mild on 'Deacon' and 'Royal Ann' sweet cherries, but severe on 'Lambert' and 'Black Republican'.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant only certified virus-free stock.
  • Remove and destroy infected trees.
  • Remove infected 'Kwanzan' and 'Shirofugen' trees which carry the disease.
  • Control apple mealybug populations.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended

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Caption: Little cherry virus symptoms
Photo by: OSU slide library