Cherry trees come in various shapes, sizes, and colors which make them particularly pleasing to the eye. They are also highly functional because they provide both fruit and shade. Every plant has potential pests, but some are common to cherry trees.
Cherry Fruit Fly
The cherry fruit fly is native to the Northwestern United States. They are harmful to the fruit of the cherry tree for both food and eggs. Females lay their eggs just under the thin outer layer of the cherry. When the eggs hatch, the larvae chew their way to the center of the fruit. When they are ready, the larvae burrow their way back out of the fruit, fall out of the tree, and burrow into the soil to pupate. When the next growing season approaches, the adult cherry fruit flies, emerge from the ground, and go back onto the host tree to breed and restart the life cycle.
Black Cherry Aphid
The black cherry aphid destroys the fruit of mainly sweet cherry trees and some tart cherry trees during the winter season. The larvae feed on the unopened buds and leaves of the trees. They leave behind a secretion that promotes the development of mold. This causes damage because it curls the leaves, and stunts the growth of both the tree and its fruit.
Fruit Tree Leafroller
Adult fruit tree leafrollers lay their eggs on the twigs of cherry trees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae begin chewing into the opening buds. The larvae live in leaves that the adults curl over and fasten with webbing, which is where the name leafroller comes from. The petals of the buds are webbed together, and, therefore, they cannot blossom. This weakens the fruit, which the fruit tree leafroller also eats.
The cherry slug is the larva of the sawfly, and so, isn’t a slug at all. It is an insect. It eats the leaves of the cherry tree leaving only a skeleton consisting of the veins behind. The larvae burrow underground to pupate, and emerge to mate and lay eggs on the host tree to begin the cycle once again.
There are some ways to protect your cherry trees from these common pests. One idea is to release natural predators into the tree such as ladybugs. If that doesn’t work, then it’s a bright idea to turn to insecticides. When they are used carefully, your cherry trees should be pest free and ready to grow next season.