Vein clearing and cherry crinkle are two names for the same problem, a virus-like condition that affects cherry trees. It can lead to serious issues in fruit production and, while it isn’t contagious, it can appear out of nowhere on otherwise healthy trees. Keep reading to learn more about how to manage a cherry with crinkle and vein clearing symptoms.
What Causes Vein Clearing and Cherry Crinkle?
Although easily mistakable for a virus, sweet cherry crinkle and vein clearing are thought to be caused by a genetic mutation in the buds of cherry trees. The condition will sometimes appear on otherwise healthy trees.
It does not seem to be contagious and does not spread naturally from one tree to another. It can be accidentally spread by gardeners, however, when infected buds are grafted onto healthy trees. Research conducted by C. G. Woodbridge has suggested that the mutation may be caused by boron deficiency in the soil.
Symptoms of Cherry Vein Clearing and Crinkle
Symptoms of the mutation can be seen in both the leaves and buds of the tree. Leaves tend to be narrower than normal, with serrated edges and mottled, translucent spots. Buds may be misshapen.
Affected trees will often produce an abundance of flowers, but very few will develop into fruit or even open. Fruit that does form will be flat on one side and ridged on the other, with a pointed tip.
What to Do About Sweet Cherry Crinkle
There is no official treatment for cherry vein clearing, although applications of boron to the soil have been shown to help in trees that have shown symptoms in previous years.
The best way to keep vein clearing and crinkle from spreading is to propagate only with stems from cherry trees that have shown no propensity for the mutation.