Washington State University
Little Cherry Disease
Healthy cherries on top, Little Cherry infected fruit on bottom.
In the 1950s an outbreak of Little Cherry Disease had a disastrous impact on fruit growers in British Columbia. Now, orchardists in Washington believe that the very cool, wet weather of 2010 has reawakened the disease and it is spreading.
As the name implies Little Cherry Disease affects the size of the cherries but also affects the flavour, colour and sugar content.
According to researchers at Washington State University Bing and Sweetheart cultivars are less susceptible to the disease and after the first season the effects aren’t quite as severe, but the tree and fruit never recover. Wet and cool years allow the virus to thrive.
So far there is no treatment and infected trees must be cut down.