Brown rot – an aptly named and unwelcome disease of stone fruits
I have a sour cherry tree in my yard that declines a bit more each year. It is in sad shape, with seared-open main branches injured by sun scald and invaded by decay fungi. This all stemmed from leaf loss due to an ongoing and pervasive case of brown rot caused by the fungus Monilinia. This organism infects first through the flowers, usually after a rain while the flowers are open.