Forum home The potting shed

What is wrong with my cherry tree?

Something is destroying the leaves on my five year old cherry tree. They look like they're being eaten buy I can't see any pests at all on them. Edges of damaged leaves are slightly brown. Is it a disease or a pest please? Grateful for any ideas.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 81,417
    My guess is woodpigeons. They love the tender young leaves and at the moment they’re eating lots of stuff to produce pigeon ‘milk’ in their crops to feed the youngsters. 

    Your Cherry will produce some more leaves. I would make sure the ground around the base of the tree is free from grass and weeds, then feed with something like Fish, blood & bone organic fertiliser and water it well
    and mulch the roots area. Continue to water well at least a couple of times a week to ensure the tree is doing well enough to produce another crop of leaves. 😊 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,844
    They started on our cherries, plums and gages last year.
    They ignored (thankfully) the pears and apples.
    They strip the young leaves.
    We tied lenghts of bonded fibre onto the trees last year to deter them.
    It lasted some weeks then they ignored them
    This year we put up old CDs and again it worked for many weeks but now we see them on the branches with the CDs spinning and taking no notice.
    Why are they only after a selective fruit tree when at the bottom of our garden we have wild damson and they ignore these leaves.
  • SporophyteBoySporophyteBoy Posts: 121
    I went to Kew Gardens earlier and a dozen or so wood pidgeons were sitting in a big green beech tree just breaking leaf - they and their mates had denuded the outer branches almost completely and were busily working there way in. I've never seen any bird do that amount of damage to beech trees and put it down to the severe drought conditions back then - despite the River Thames only being a short flight away.
    Then net has come off the roof of my cage at the plot but the birds have totally ignored my curly kale. They obviously don't know what they're missing!
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,015
    Yes, pigeons. Parakeets also do quite a lot of damage to mine, though tend to just remove the new stems altogether, in 6" lengths, not just the leaves!
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • susanarobinsonsusanarobinson EssexPosts: 4
    Thank you for all the speedy advice. We do have a lot of pigeons here as we live in a town. At least I know what it is now! It was really perplexing me and I didn’t want to start spraying. Thanks again.
Sign In or Register to comment.