WSU Extension


Ornamental Cherry
Armillaria root rot 
Bacterial canker 
Brown rot 
Coryneum blight (Shothole) 
Leaf spot 
Virus diseases 
Apple-and-thorn skeletonizer 
Cherry bark tortrix 
Pear slug 
Redhumped caterpillar 
Shothole borer 
Spider mites 
Tent caterpillars 

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Caption: Cherry leaf spot
Photo by: C.R. Foss
Ornamental Cherry : Leaf spot
(revision date: 6/26/2015)

Leaf spot on cherry first appears as small circular, purple spots on the leaves about the time they reach full size. Infections begin in the spring and continue through late summer. The spots turn brown, and enlarge. The centers may drop out, giving a "shothole" appearance to the affected leaves, or the leaves may turn yellow and drop, sometimes resulting in severe defoliation. This fungal disease overwinters on fallen leaf debris and attacks new leaves in the spring. Mild, wet summer weather promotes infection, which can only occur on wet foliage.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Rake and destroy all fallen leaves and debris under trees.
  • Avoid overhead watering. If overhead irrigation is necessary, limit it to times when foliage can dry quickly.
  • Space plantings and prune to provide good air circulation.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Apply fungicide at petal fall, shuck fall and 2 weeks later. (Shuck fall: when flower petals have fallen away from young fruit). Sulfur products may cause plant damage if applied at temperatures greater than 85 degrees F. 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
  • Defend DF/Home & Garden Use/for Organic Gardening [Organic]
    Active ingredient: sulfur  |  EPA reg no: 62562-8
  • 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
  • Safer Brand Garden Fungicide/Flowers, Fruit & Vegetables Conc
    Active ingredient: sulfur  |  EPA reg no: 42697-37
  • 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