13 July 2006

Plum Duff

This plum tree is only a youngster and it flowered beautifully and set to fruit so heavily that we had to remove some to prevent the branches collapsing under their own weight.

Over the space of a month it has turned from a healthy specimin into the sorry state you see in the picture and the branches are dying from the bottom up. Anyone know what might be going on here?


Sandra said...

Found this question, similar to yours, about the leaves dying, etc. Maybe this will help.

QUESTION: I have a Bradford Pear that was here when we moved in about 4 or 5 years ago here in Plano, TX.. It never needed any special attention so it has just gotten water and fertilizer that the yard gets. Within the last week the tree leaves have all turned brown looking like it is dying. Normally the heat, humidity, lack of rain, etc., doesn't effect it, and there are no bugs to speak of. There are a few leaves that are still green but they are on their way out. No other trees of this variety are looking like this.

ANSWER: You have a root problem of some sort; it sounds a lot like cotton root rot. If the dead leaves hang on the tree, then it is cotton root rot; if the leaves drop then it is something else. It is kind of early to see the affects of cotton root rot showing up. Fireblight can also kill them, but it has been a minor problem this year due to the dry weather.

The problem may just be dry weather although it is hard to believe dry weather can kill an established tree. However, many times certain trees are planted are very thin shallow soils and you only find out when conditions are at there worst. Since there doesn't appear to be any hope of saving this tree, you need to dig it up and let a plant pathologist examine the roots to see if the cotton root rot fungus is present. If present, then you need to avoid this area with future plants or plant a cotton root rot tolerant tree like Mexican plum or pomegranate.

Anonymous said...

thank you nice sharing

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