Bacterial Canker on Sweet Cherry - On Rainier not on Lapins


Bacterial Canker on Sweet Cherry Zone 9B San Jose California

I searched this forum and found a few posts on this topic.

Recommendations where -

  • To remove the tree (if canker is on the central stem)
  • Apply DuPont Kocide 3000 / copper
  • Remove the infected branch or cut out the wound and seal and spray

My sweet cherry on z-dwarf (Planted in spring 2015) started developing a huge canker right at the base where rootstock touches the soil in spring 2017. Now in Jan 2018 I see Canker & gummosis right on top of the tree where the pruning cut was made in 2015.
Tree seems healthy otherwise.

My initial plan was to keep the tree and plant new cherries next to it (5 feet away). Is this a bad idea? Will it spread to the new trees? )My neighbors sprinklers spray on the trees when windy :frowning: )

Should I pull out the tree ASAP, burn them and treat the area with copper - before planting the new trees?

I would hate to lose 3 years of growth on this cherry :frowning:

Appreciate any inputs!


Cherries are very susceptible to bacterial canker, it’s just a fact of life. Having them sprinkled upon certainly does not help. The bacteria are everywhere in the soil and spread by rain / splashing water. Pruning only in dry weather and when the tree is actively growing (late spring to late summer) should help a bit.


Yeah I have lost two trees to it, it killed them. i would keep it till it dies. As stan mentions it’s all over anyway. And yes get more trees. I have 2 others and they are doing great and both produced last year. One had cancker too, but it was high up. i removed 2/3 of the tree and it seems to have fully recovered. No sign of anymore lesions.


Drew, Stan - Thank you both! I’ll leave it be for now and plant the rest a few feet away.


I just realized the canker is on the Rainier cherry tree and not Lapins. I had the spots confused. Its a 2 in 1 planting. Looking online, looks like Lapins is more resistant to canker! So hopefully the Lapins will not get infected and the Rainier will pull through…

Updating this thread - so anyone looking for a more canker resistant variety can try Lapins.


My Lapins planted in 2008 has had canker for several years. The main trunk is split for a couple foot stretch, so I can’t cut it out, but the tree keeps hanging in there. There could be some Southwest Disease involved, too, although I have kept it painted white. Last year (2017) we ate our first cherries from it, about two quarts’ worth. I picked them before they were totally ripe, but didn’t want the birds to get them. The tree is about fifteen feet tall, so I used a Twister picker on a pole to reach them. What a rare treat for us here near Minneapolis!


Lucky you!!! :slight_smile:

Spoke too soon :confused: As of this morning my Lapins also has canker!!!


@northwoodswis4 How is your Lapin doing now? I have two, planted last year, and I now believe they both have cankers on the trunks.


My older Lapins is in poor shape with canker. It was covered with fruit buds this spring, but they were all dead from the cold winter. My other Lapins on Colt had two cherries up near the top, which I didn’t bother to pick. Nothing yet on my Kristin. My advice for anyone in the North is don’t bother to plant sweet cherries.