Need Shiro and Methley Plum Disease Help

RUReddy(7B)May 5, 2013

Hi Folks. I have 2 Methley and 1 Shiro plum trees that are about 4 years old. I have provided lots of TLC for them, including dormant spraying, mulching, giving them compost, etc. Last year I noticed there were splits in the bark on the Shiro with some sap running out. My local cooperative extension guy said this was nothing to worry about. But that doesn't feel right to me. This spring they all bloomed out beautifully. But now they are losing their leaves like crazy. The leaves turn brown, become dessicated and fall off. The shiro is particularly bad; it's lost more than half its leaves. I checked for insects but could find none. Could this be shothole or a virus? What is the protocol for treatment for each? I really hate to lose them all after all this time. By the way, none of the trees has born any fruit. We've had unseasonably cool springs so the bees aren't yet awake when the trees bloom. I appreciate any advice anybody has. Thanks!

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gardengal48

Pretty hard to diagnose plant problems sight unseen but what you describe sounds a lot like bacterial canker, which can be extremely common in members of the Prunus genus.

Ideally, it would be best to confirm the diagnosis with your local extension office. They are usually very good at these things so if they said nothing to worry about, chances are good to follow that directive. It helps if you provide them with as complete a history as possible - sufficient samples and photos (not just a verbal description) for them to make an accurate assessment. Then they can direct you in the recommended treatment. Or you can Google 'bacterial canker' and take it from there.

Have you tried orchard mason bees for pollenization? These are some of the earliest pollinators, available online or at many garden centers,

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 2:44PM
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