The hybrids developed by the University of Saskatchewan
are relatively insect and disease free, especially compared to the sour
cherries that are grown in Ontario or Michigan. The cherry fruit fly is
probably the worst insect for sour cherries. There will be some brown rot
on the fruit but it won't be a major problem unless high amounts of precipitation
is received followed by high heats during the ripening stage. Even at the
University of Saskatchewan where there are thousands of cherry trees, they
only have to spray once or twice a year. Dwarf sour cherries seem not to
be affected by bacterial leaf spot which is the main disease for normal
sour cherries. The main pests in cherries seem to be rabbits and deer,
mainly on young plants. The best ways to control deer and rabbits are fences
or dogs. A couple of busy dogs could probably keep the deer away if the
orchard is relatively close to the house. If mulches are used within the
rows and ground covers used in between the rows, weeds shouldn’t be much
of a problem.
Cherry Fruit Fly
Provided by: University of Michigan Entomology
-The cherry fruit fly adult will either feed on fruit or lay its eggs in the fruit causing damage either way.
-The larvae within the cherry will also feed on the fruit.
-The natural hosts for the cherry fruit fly is the chokecherry.
-The prairies have a unfavourable environment for the cherry fruit
fly to thrive because of our extended dry, hot periods in late summer.
They perfer and even distribution of heat and precipitation. The northern
prairies have this as a major advantage because we only have to spray once
or twice if at all.
Brown Fruit Rot
Picture Provided by: Agriculture
and Agri-food Canada
-Brown fruit rot can be a detremental disease to a cherry orchard on years where there is alot of precipitation and high temperatures.
-Brown rot starts as a small spot of brown and rapidly spreads infecting the whole fruit and the producing grey spores.
-Fruit is especially succeptible to brown fruit rot just after a lot of rain when the fruit cracks.
-Brown fruit rot can rapidly spread through a harvested crop in storage if the fruit is not kept cool and all the diseased fruit sorted out.
-A good way to control brown fruit rot is to remove mummied fruit
when pruning the tree in early spring. This removes the spores that is
going to infect the current years fruit.
-Deer, birds and rabbits are probably going to be the biggest pests of dwarf sour cherries on the prairies.
-The cherry trees are especially vulnerable at a young age.
-Not much can be done to protect from birds but they can only eat so many cherries.
-A few things that can be done like scare cannons, scarecrows, etc. A large orchard should not have any problems with birds eating cherries.
-Rabbits will eat the bark off of the bases or the tree and damage or kill the tree.
*For more information on insect and disease control in Canada, Agriculture
Canada has a good information site on chemical control, cultural control
and information on other insects and diseases of cherries and other fruit
crops. The University
of Kentucky's Entomology Department and University
of Michigan both have a detailed desciption of the cherry fruit fly.