Can half-dead ornamental purple plum tree be saved?

esther_bJune 24, 2013

In our co-op complex, nearly every yard has one of those small ornamental purple plum trees in it. The ones which are not anywhere near the taller oak trees are doing fine and are thickly leaved. The ones (such as in my yard) which have large oaks living next to them have half their branches dead and bare. I have asked the mgt. to prune them and they won't, for some dumb reason. Could pruning away the dead branches help save these trees?

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Personally, I'd rather have the oak than the plum... especially if the oaks are large & established. Think of all the birds & critters that live in a single big oak!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:34AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

my thoughts at the link ..


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 8:32AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

ken what a gorgeous landscape you have!

Here those purple leaf plums look gorgeous for about two years after planting, then they start to die and are dead at about year five. I've seen this over and over and over throughout our area.

So they are failures in other climates as well? I thought it was just our zone that was doing it.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 5:26PM
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The problem with this particular plum tree is twofold: (1) it belongs to the co-op, not to me, and I don't think they'd take kindly to me cutting it down and (2) it's right in the middle of my HOSTA GARDEN, providing the main shade for it. The hosta garden gets the late afternoon sun, it's an eastern exposure, and the oak trees behind the plum tree (oak trees are in the strip between the sidewalk and the street) gradually shade over everything. Various neighbors have told me that, when they inquired about having a dead or dying tree replaced, they were told that the tree would not be replaced. So, if this plum tree up and dies, I suppose they will saw it down and leave my hosta garden to be shaded only by the oak trees in the late afternoon. I wonder how that will affect my hosta garden...

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:53PM
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