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Diseases & Bugs of Flowering Purple Sand Cherry Trees

By Amber Kelsey ; Updated September 21, 2017

Flowering purple sand cherry trees (prunus x cistena) are deciduous shrubs or small trees belonging to the rose family (Rosaceae). Winter hardy in USDA zones 2 to 8, this cherry tree has low vigor and is highly susceptible to plant diseases and bug infestations.


Flowering purple sand cherry trees are highly susceptible to powdery mildew, verticillium wilt and fire blight diseases.


Verticillium wilt causes the leaves to yellow, wilt and die, while fire blight turns the cherry blossoms black or brown in color. Powdery mildew causes a grayish-white coating to form on the leaves.


The flowering purple sand cherry tree frequently attracts Japanese beetles, aphids and caterpillars. Spider mites and scale occasionally attack these trees.


These pests do significant damage to the red-purple foliage, cherry blossoms and the inedible, purple fruit.


The flowering purple sand cherry tree typically has a short life span because of its susceptibility to diseases and bug problems. Many of these trees decline after only 10 years.


Flowering purple sand cherry trees are often planted as screens, hedges and borders. The red-purple foliage makes this cherry cultivar an attractive foundation or accent tree.