Little cherry disease: declared pest

Page last updated: Friday, 4 March 2016 - 10:04am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Little cherry disease [Ampelovirus Little cherry virus 2 (LChV-2)] is a serious pest of cherries that can affect fruit development and quality.

This pest is not known to occur in Western Australia. Early detection and reporting of this pest will help protect Western Australian cherry growers.

What plants are affected?

LChV-2 affects sweet cherry (Prunus avium) and sour cherry (P. cerasus). It can also infect cultivars of the oriental flowering cherry (P. serrulata) but these infections are symptomless.

What do I look for?

Symptoms are rarely seen in the orchard until 10 days prior to harvest. At this stage fruits often:

  • appear smaller than healthy fruits
  • look discoloured
  • fail to fully ripen
  • have reduced sweetness.

Leaf symptoms can also be seen in some sweet cherry cultivars. In such cases the intervenal areas of the upper leaf surface turn a red-violet or bronze colour while the midrib and main veins retain their green colour.

What damage can this pest cause?

Little cherry disease primarily affects fruit size and quality and therefore impacts marketability. Fruits are smaller than normal and lack both flavour and colour.

What do I do if I find it?

Ampelovirus Little cherry virus 2 (LChV-2) is a prohibited organism for Western Australia. It is important that suspected disease occurrence is reported. Its early detection and eradication will help protect Western Australian cherry growers. Please contact the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) to report this pest.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080