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Powdery mildew of cherry

Podosphaera clandestine (Wallr.:Fr.) Lév.

The fungus attacks young leaves and shoots and tends to cause more damage on sour cherry than sweet cherry. Infections appear as white circular lesions or patches of powdery growth on either side of the leaf or on the terminal ends of shoots (A). Severely infected leaves curl upward or blister but eventually drop as infection progresses. Towards the end of the season, small, black fungal bodies (cleistothecia) are visible within powdery mildew colonies (B). Infected fruit are deformed when infected young, or develop circular, slightly sunken lesions when infection occurs on mature fruit.

Distribution

Occurs all along the east coast.

Similar Species

None

Management

Powdery mildew is managed through a combination of fungicides, starting from petal fall and continuing through pit hardening, and the use of resistant varieties. Many fungicides used for brown rot control are effective against powdery mildew.

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