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In some seasons, sweet cherries loose much of their fruit before it ripens. This loss is called cherry fruit drop or run off and, in severe cases, it can lead to an almost total failure of the crop.
cherry run off
Many members of the Prunus group, such as apricots and almonds, shed fruit that they do not have resources to bear. This fruit drop can severely reduce the harvest. In Britain, the most common fruit to suffer is the sweet cherry and this is referred to as cherry run off.
It is worth noting that similar problems occur with other fruits, for example in apples the issue is known as June drop.
As ripening becomes imminent much, and often most, of the fruit falls to the ground. The fruit is immature, so can't be eaten.
Recent research suggests that, in sweet cherry at least, a combination of climatic factors can be linked to heavier fruit drop. They include:
AcknowledgementsThis profile is based on research carried out at East Malling Research by Dr Tijana Blanusa and Dr Mark Else. Dr Blanusa is currently the >RHS Plant Physiologist. Pictures are by kind permission of Dr Else
Bacterial cankerBlossom wiltCherries: sweetFruit thinningHoney fungusSilver leafWeather damage
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