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Shothole disease

 
Monica Eger
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, zone 6b
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Hi!

I am new to this site, but not completely new to permaculture. I realised that I have been applying some permaculture principles for over ten years, without actually knowing it was permaculture. It just felt right, so I did it that way.

Now I have a question regarding our cherry tree. It is an old and beautiful tree, but it is infected with shothole disease. All over, not just a little.
If I understand permaculture correctly, any disease is a sign of weakness of the plant. And I should not fight the disease but strengthen the tree, right? But how do I do this? Would it help to apply manure to the root area? Any thoughts?

Thank you!
 
Monica Eger
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, zone 6b
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I'd like to add that the tree stands alone, gets a lot of sun and wind, so should dry quickly after a rainshower. We do get quite a lot of rain here, and our humidity is often around 70% in summer.
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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There is a good discussion here:
http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/fact_sheets/plant_pathology_and_ecology/disease_control_for_home_cherry_orchards.pdf

Generally I would avoid high nitrogen fertilizers on fruit trees. Mulch with wood chips; maybe spread some compost if you suspect lack of nutrients.
 
Monica Eger
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, zone 6b
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Thank you very much for the good link.

Trouble is, I've already considered the things they mentioned, though. They suggest removing all infected parts of the tree. I would have to cut the tree down, because the entire tree is infected.
Then they say to spray the tree, but I would like to make do without conventional fungicide. Is there an organic fungicide that could help? Milk? And how do I spray a tree that is approximately 8m tall?
What I can do, and am already doing, is remove the leaves that fall down. I do it every couple of days, since it loses leaves all through summer, not just in fall.

I have been wondering about mulching. The tree sits in the middle of a meadow, with grass growing right up to the trunk. Could this be the problem? Would you mulch over the grass to have a grass-free area around it? Or is this not important for a fully grown and established cherry tree?

I don't have any reason to suspect any nutrient deficiency, other than the tree being sick. We generally have quite fertile soil here, and the tree is well established. But I haven't fertilised it for at least ten years.



 
jack sharp
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trim off low hanging branches. mark shepherd talks about deer keeping his tree free of mold by letting deer munch of his lower branches.
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
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got nettles?

make a tea out of some and spray the lower leaves.
make a slurry out of some more and pour around the ring.
make a mulch out of even more and dump around.
(you may want to mulch around the crown with rocks to prevent rot from setting in).

grass may not be hurting but it's probably not helping (other than to cover bare soil).
you could always transplant some nettle to let it overtake the grass eventually so that you could chop & drop.

horsetail is also a great fungicide if you have some of that instead.

hope this helps.
 
Monica Eger
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, zone 6b
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Thank you for your tips.
I do have nettles and will spray, pour and mulch as suggested. I'll also trim off the lowest branches. They are the most infected ones, anyway.
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
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Monika,

Bryant also gave a possible grandma solution with baking soda here:
http://www.permies.com/t/46767/trees/trees

i did some research and the jury's out whether it works against shothole or not.
seems like it couldn't hurt though.
 
Monica Eger
Posts: 29
Location: Switzerland, zone 6b
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Siu-yu, thank you for the interesting link. I will give baking soda a try. What is horticultural oil or soap, though?
 
siu-yu man
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Location: zone 6a, north america
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not quite sure. i'm guessing that a dr. bronner's type oil soap will work just fine...that's what i use and i've seen no damage from using it.
 
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