Bizarre cherry pest

along the lines of the old joke, “whats worse than an apple with a worm in it?” -

Q- whats worse than a small bitter cherry with a big pit and hardly any flesh?

A- a larger version of the same fruit with more flesh, no pit, and full of dozens of little pinkish orange worms!

I was looking at a loaded chokecherry bush in my orchard when i noticed that a bunch of the fruit were HUGE! Wow, I thought, what might have caused this WONDERFUL turn of luck. So i plucked one off to see what miracle might have befallen my tree (I actually suspected it was a pathogen, specifically images of plum pocket posted by @Everett I believe came to mind)

When i picked the fruit, I could see down into it. splitting it with my fingernail, i saw that it was full of
little wriggling worms. A lot of the fruits were infested thusly. i’ve never seen this before. have any of you? it doesn’t seem a stretch that such a critter would infest domestic cherries.

Not all pictures loaded before your pressed Post.


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Ok, now that I see them … yuck.

Chokecherry gall midge.


spot on. thanks

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What appears to be caterpillars in some of the images are not related to the midge problem.

i dod wonder that briefly but came to the conclusion that it is unrelated. There are some PC stungs on these fruits, which i was a little bit surprised by. I skimmed some info about these midges and gleaned some info about their life cycle. Their entry point into the fruit was not entirely clear to me though. I suspect they came through the stem though or perhaps eggs were in the flower when the fruit was set

Yikes, can’t hit :heart: on that. What a fruit frustrating problem.