My "Romance series" cherries


I don’t think there will be a good outcome if you don’t use any type of fungicide spray. I think some kind of spray along with removing the infected leaves from the area is necessary.

I know precious little about doing things organic, so someone with more experience in that area will need to chime in, but I think copper would be considered a legit organic compound.

In fact if it were my tree, given that it’s not fruiting - I’d spray it right now with some liquid copper. Something like Ligui-cop by Monterey or Bonide also has a liquid copper concentrate, as well as others. But I think the liquid copper is milder and you probably wouldn’t risk any leaf burn that way.

But the sooner you put a halt to it’s progression the better off you’ll be.

I can’t locate the article just now, but I’d read something a few years ago (again from MSU) that even recommended post harvest fungicide sprays in an effort to keep cherry leaf spot in check.

I just think if you don’t do anything it spreads, and then as you head into winter you’ll have a weakened plant which may struggle to survive.


Thank you!! I guess thus far I’ve grown stuff that doesn’t need spraying which has been simple (watermelon, strawberry, and blackberry). So now I need to learn and buy new stuff. Was hoping to avoid but I have read up and seems like it’s hard to do that. Looking into the copper and other fungicide options.


I do copper in the dormant seasons. It’s good to spray the whole tree after the leaves have fallen off and then again after winter when the buds are still tight. Then Immunox mixed with triazicide a couple times when the weather is getting close to the 60’s and then 70’s. They should be fine after that unless you get pests. My trees are just babies, but I have the spray loaded for my other trees and just hit them with a couple spurts of spray.


I ordered Monterey’s liqui cop and a sprayer on Amazon last night. I’m seeing that all my romance bushes (only planted in March!) have some yellowing leaves :disappointed: I also noticed that the very pervasive autumn olives around here seem to be getting yellow leaves. We’ve had an oddly wet spring and I can’t say I’ve looked at their leaves closely in years past but thought it was interesting. This pic is of autumn olives back where our pigs are right now.


I dont remember where I posted this previously but I grafted Juliet onto Crimson bushes this spring. One I cut down completely and added 6 grafts to all the stumps, another I just cut a few branches and added Juliet to those. All failed, although a few did start to break buds and had small leaves on them before they failed. Normally I have pretty good luck grafting so I dont think its my fault. Is it possible that Juliet isnt compatible with Crimson Passion?


Okay, I’m going to float a theory about my poorly performing Crimson Passion bushes, just to see what some of your thoughts are…

A little history is in order to “set the stage”

When I first got the little twigs from HBUSA, within a few days of planting I noticed one of them had a touch of gummosis. At that point the only bush cherries I had were the 5 CJ’s and they were all healthy as horses - nothing bad going on with any of them to speak of (Although I did think one had some signs of BC, but that never turned out to be much).

So my thinking was that they arrived here with some kind of issue. When I spoke with HBUSA about it, they said the CP’s were a bit more “finicky”, and that some of their young CP plants had some issues but that they seem to generally outgrow these problems and that I could spray them with copper and I should be okay.

Well to add insult to injury, on 9/7/14 I’d removed the fencing to weed and came inside to eat - nodded off and completely forgot about it. Next morning I was drinking coffee and noticed some deer messing around by the bush and sure enough they had defoliated the one, and quite a bit of the other. I didn’t know how it’d survive the winter but it seemed to do fine.

2015 came and went kind of nothing out of the ordinary, the CP’s grew at a nice clip and overall I was pleased with how they were doing.

2016 rolls around and the CP’s looked green and lush and I thought for all the world that I’d get to taste fruit - but alas…, not a single blossom. THEN (and here’s where the theory comes in…) late July/early August these two CP’s got hit with the dreaded cherry leaf spot. None of the 5 CJ’s next to the CP’s had any cherry leaf spot, nor did the newly planted but very nicely leafed out 2 Juliet bushes have any. Only CP. (I recall in a thread Clark had said maybe JB’s deposited there, but that his CJ’s had been hit)

In any case, these CP’s lost a lot of leaves as I was a bit tardy in hitting them once I noticed the outbreak.

Then they come out of winter this spring looking like winter-kill, and on closer inspection I see tiny leaves but nothing to power them and the bushes look sparse as a result. There was some winter-kill, but a lot of just under performing branches.

I hit 'em hard with extra fert, and now I have some new growth that’s maybe 10". However, I’ve noticed that some of them are weak at the union and often I walk past and see three or four new 10" branches wilted and drooping. They just fall off the main branch. I also noticed about 20-40 leaves with leaf spot that appeared seemingly overnight. I hit them with Immunox today, but thing is I’ve hit them with Kocide 3000 and Immunox right along with my others all along from winter to spring whenever the others are sprayed.

So anyway, I think one of the MSU articles eludes to cherry trees suffering the next year after having had severe cherry leaf spot.

Well I’m thinking if I keep pampering these two - maybe it’s just the leaf spot that is my issue and once they’re more healthy BOOM! (and yet I can’t escape the other seemingly universal evidence that these CP’s are just not very good producers).

Anyway, just a ramble…


Diseases as your aware do reduce production. The more they produce the more disease susceptible they are. I’m concerned about planting cherries other than Montmorency, Northstar, and carmine Jewell due to the reduced vigor and multiple disease issues that exist on wild trees in my area eg, brown rot, canker, leaf spot etc. . If I do plant another cherry I think I will go with Juliet. Part of being a successfull fruit grower is to recognize the pros and cons of environmental factors which I think you do extremely well. As a fruit grower you also need to be willing to take big chances to find out what works! Maybe 2-4 more years is what they need. I always suspected northstars production would pick up but in the end I’ve realized it never will in my area. It’s not the tree it’s the environment and it does not like it here. I’m tempted to try one of each of the romance series but with you being a state away I suspect my results would be the same as yours.


That’s one of the hard lessons that kinda goes along with that thread on “what trees would you remove and why”, or something like that. I had a Northstar that was just a fine shaped tree, just a real nice specimen and the fruit made superb jam and pie - just precious little of either! I had to remove it for my new building but I was not heartbroken about it. These under-performers take the same care as the better performing ones. (Kinda like - you can cut, load, and split oak or cottonwood…)

But I do plan on hanging onto these CP’s at least another year or two just to see if they come around. Because I’m beginning to think that the effects of Cherry Leaf Spot may just be a bit more nefarious than I really ever thought. (If it’s actually the culprit that’s causing the problems with my two CP’s). Although I must say, it hasn’t seemed to impact your CJ bushes or their fruit load, so maybe I’m not as close to an answer as I thought…


I noticed red dots on my CP’s leaves yesterday. It’s the only bush that has them.


I’ve got a Northstar that’s just hanging on at this point and I’ll probably remove it, even though I don’t believe I’ve ever removed a living tree in the orchard before. Frankly, it’s never been a very good producer and it’s never been very vibrant, but it’s not in the best location either.


Yum… bacon


Well that was my problem too, except mine was in a very good full sun location, so it had everything going for it and still it was a disappointment. I would often show people the Northstar’s trunk, then walk them over to the CJ’s and ALWAYS the person would be in disbelief.

The Northstar was planted as a container tree in ‘11, and I imagine it was 4-5’ tall and was maybe a 2-3 year tree when I got it.

My first CJ’s were planted at the same time in '11 as pencil thick twigs and their trunks would dwarf that of the Northstar. And not by just a little bit.

And I kept thinking …next year…, next year Mr. Northstar is going to really pop. And to be truthful, I removed it after the cherry harvest last year and so it was only in ground here from '11-'16, so maybe it would have gotten progressively more productive but with the ER reliably making me sick of picking cherries year in and year out, as well as the CJ’s being what they are. It was a no-brainer for me.

But I do really like the flavor and will miss that, but I harvested a meager 1.5 gal off him last year.


Jerry, my liqui cop arrived today. The instructions only lists the application amount for two cherry problems:


Is it still ok to use this for my problem that I’m guessing is cherry leaf spot? I honestly haven’t seen any fuzziness on the underside of the leaves which I think(?) I read somewhere as being an indication of cherry lead spot fungus. Please forgive me- Im trying to synthesize info fast and take care of my trees, partly because I spent $$$ on six cherry bushes that are losing their leaves in early June and that would be a big loss. So I’m going with a guess of cherry leaf spot but the product doesn’t list that. Still ok to use? What amount of liqui cop to a gallon of water? I’m also a tad confused by “mix specified rate in one gallon of water and apply three gallons of mixed solution to a small tree or bush…” Really? Mix it up thrice for each little tree? "Thoroughly spray to the point of runoff… Do not overspray":arrow_left:️This is also a bit confusing. I’d love ANY spraying tips! Thank you!!


I would hit them with immunox while you have a chance. Organic is preferred when I can do it but this disease is not one I mess around with.


Ok. Now to see if I can find that quickly. It’s hard to make trips to Home Depot with my kids so Amazon is my friend when I need a specific thing but it takes a few days…

Thank you!! Would you advise using the immunox instead of or in addition to the liqui cop? Seriously overwhelmed with treating these little cherry bushes. Good thing I only bought six lol.


The immunox by itself Is not a great way to go long term . I would alternate with captan. Those chemicals are relatively inexpensive and last a long time. This is the Captan I’m sorry I don’t know an organic method. That copper comes in really handy for me in the spring and fall in the dormant season. Keep something over your eyes when you spray these chemicals since I’m told they are not good for your eyes.


I only mentioned copper as I got the sense you were hesitant to use any fungicide with your statement that you’d never used a fungicide and would rather not, and so I kinda jumped to the conclusion that maybe you would prefer trying to go a more organic path, hence the copper recommendation. Sorry for the misread…:slight_smile:

But still, copper is recommended by some universities. (Although I’m not sure if the copper compound they mention is the same as that in the liquid) But here’s an excerpt from an MSU letter in any case:

Copper has proven be a highly effective fungicide for cherry leaf spot control. Results from several years of experiments consistently show that cherry leaf spot treatments utilizing one, two or three cover sprays of copper sulfate (1.2 lbs metallic Cu per acre) provided excellent cherry leaf spot control equivalent to or better than standard programs using conventional fungicides, such as strobilurins. Successful efficacy of copper compounds aids both conventional growers, as copper extends the life of traditional fungicides, and organic growers because copper is the only viable option for disease control in tart cherry. The only detriment to copper use is the potential for phytotoxicity effects to tart cherry trees.

But that said, I myself use mainly Myclobutanil (Immunox) and Chlorothalonil (Hi-Yield or Daconil, etc) and of course spray copper (Kocide 3000) in about November and again around February or March.

But if you’re not opposed to using non-organic I’d for sure hit it with some Immunox ASAP. And get rid of all those leaves.


Just noticed this question, and if it were me and I had the Liqui Cop in hand, I would use that ASAP while waiting on the Immunox.

Copper will be more of a topical thing whereas Immunox is kind of a locally systemic thing. So getting something on now would be better than letting it progress unchecked while you wait on the Immunox.

Once the Immunox gets there I’d mix it up and hit 'em again with that.


You could but do not use that dosage as it is for dormant trees, cut it to 1 ounce-3 tsp. When dormant use 2 oz.


I’d prefer to not use one if there were an effective strategy otherwise and I didn’t want to need to go the route of sprays but all I’m reading is telling me I need to, at this point.

Maybe my kids and I will be able to get out and get the immunox today.

Thanks so much!