Trouble with Holey leaves!

ednortonJuly 29, 2014

Hello, I have a Thundercloud Plum Tree that's about 2 years ago, and there's many holes showing up on its leaves. Anyone know why this is happening? I don't see any bugs on the leaves. Please see the photos attached .


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Looks like Japanese beetle damage (and they love cherries and plums). They could have left by now (mine are gone).

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:52PM
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It's called shothole fungus and is extremely common on many species of Prunus. Fungus starts out as a just a leaf spot, then the interior tissue dies and falls out, creating a look similar to the effect of a shotgun full of bird shot :-)) Infection typically happens in spring when weather is wet and mild. A dormant spray with fungicide can help to smother overwintering spores but the disease is too weather related to be effectively controlled.

One of the many unpleasant characteristics of a purple leaf plum.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:37PM
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Well, two completely different views. I'm leaning on the fungus as being the reason because nearly 90% of this two year old tree has these holey leaves .Any other input would be appreciated. If it is a fungus when should this spray be applied and how many times? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:18PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the real question.. on a deciduous tree... of which.. full fall clean up is high on the list for preventing a recurrence next season ...

is whether it is necessary to spray ... now that its this late in the season ????

if all you can do is prevent... then why spray ...

and surely no spray is going to heal the leaves ...

i would NOT spray.. and i wouldnt expect any impact on next years growth ... i dont know if i would spray preventatively next spring.. before fungus season ...


ps: the leaves are still functioning.. regardless of how ugly they are.. else they would fall off as dead ...

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:40PM
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Sorry, but my response is not an opinion......shothole fungus IS the problem. As a consulting horticulturist, I encounter this issue constantly. And a dormant fungicidal spray is applied when the tree is dormant - in late fall or winter after the leaves have fallen. As stated, that can control any overwintering spore issues but it will not prevent any spring-related infections. It is almost impossible to prevent those from occurring if the weather is suitable for their development.

On the whole, the problem tends to be more aesthetic than actually harmful to the tree.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:52PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm more familiar with bacterium induced shot hole disease. Either way, there is no question that it's a shothole disease.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:40PM
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