Hello, this is my first post on here so sorry if something isn't quite correct. I need help identifying what is causing damage to my backyard cherry tree as I've looked at common issues online and couldn't find anything similar. I live in SE Iowa, I'm not sure what kind of cherry it is, the tree is around 5 years old, and it's just recently developed this damage. Along some of the smaller branches are dark woody growths that burst out. If anyone can help identify what the problem is I'd be very grateful.
Those are cankers! They are caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. Infections usually arise from a wound in the bark and they can structurally weaken them or if the canker is large enough it can have a girdling effect and everything past the canker dies. Healthy trees that are growing in healthy soil can normally deal with these infections and heal. Sick trees have a hard time and the infections usually win. What makes a healthy tree versus a sick tree is the soil. The following is a link to a plethora of information on how to build and nurture healthy soil so plants and trees thrive. The information has been generously provided by fellow permie Redhawk: https://permies.com/wiki/77424#637639
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
Trim off those canker infected branches, and disinfectant your cutting tools with isopropyl alcohol before and after every cut. Canker can be common on certian stone fruits and certian almond species.
While you're trying to develop good soil health to boost tree immunity, like the previous poster has suggested. You can add those same probiotics directly to the tree and soil, to use as a temporary stop gap, untill your soil is producing them for you. Just make some really good aerobic worm casting tea, using the aerator and at least some unsulfured blackstrap molasses. Then while the tea is still active, spray it on the entire tree and soil surface under the tree canopy. If you do that about every three months untill your soil becomes healthy, it will provide temporary probiotic protection on the tree, act as a foliar feed, provide healthy probiotics for the roots, and feed the tree a little from the soil. There are all kinds of great instructionals on you tube, that teach how to make proper aerobic worm casting tea. Stick with reputable sources, and you'll do well.
The healthy probiotics, helps fight off those unhealthy bacteria that cause canker, before the infection starts. While the unhealthy bacteria are lingering for a entry point into the tree, the healthy probiotics battle it out, and it puts the odds in favor of healthy. The nutrients those probiotics provide the tree in symbiosis at root level, help boost balanced nutrition, and therefore immunity and disease resistance. So the tree can become super healthy.