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Plum tree might be infected

Posted by blazeaglory 10 SZ22 OC Ca (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 16:10

So about 2 weeks ago I find a bug on my 3in1 plum tree. I was looking forward to Santa Rosa and Satsuma Plums but not now. I found , what turned out to be, a glassy winded leaf hopper. Anyways now my plum tree is showing signs of plum leaf scald otherwise known as Xylella Fastidiosa Disease. I will be sending samples off to get tested of all my stone fruit. It does not look like my peaches are infected but who knows. There is a HUGE neglected avocado tree in my neighbors backyard right above my plum and peaches. It turns out that leaf hopper love to live in these types of trees. Plus the avocado looks like it has the same symptoms. Who know if this bug came from the avocado or hitched a ride from the place where I bought the plum tree. I doubt it as the avocado looks half dead. Well if the samples come back positive Im axing the plum tree. I feel so bad right now as all my energy might have been wasted. I really like this plum tree and it was turning out to be my favorite tree. Wish me luck.

Can mandarins and oranges be infected by these leaf hoppers as well? Should I send some samples of my citrus also?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Not that I'm aware of, blaze. Citrus can be host plants, but as far as I am aware of, Xylella fastidiosa sp. do not infect citrus. And, I think maybe you'e referring to the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter?

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Riverside Xylella Project


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RE: Plum tree might be infected - Citrus Info

Blaze, in doing a little more investigation, I found a very nice slide deck from UC Riverside Turf Pathology, I've included a link to the doc below. And, apparently citrus can be affected by Xylella. It is called, "Citrus Variegated Chlorosis". But, I do not think this disease is established here in California, or possibly in the USA.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Riverside Turf Pathology: Update on Xylella Disease in S. Calif Landscapes


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Yeah it was a sharp shooter and if I would have know at the time I would have saved the bug.

The funny thing is if you might remember, I started a thread about how my mandarin was showing signs of chlorosis? Right around the same time I found the bug. I examine my plants daily for long periods at a time and have never seen any pests. But this bug was smart!! It was watching me look at my plants and I seen it out of the corner of my eye and when I looked right at it it hid behind the trunk of the tree!! I then began to try and follow it as it constantly hid from my sight. I went to get the spray bottle and move it behind the tree to spray it but it went around the tree, no longer afraid of my gaze! I then tried to spray it but it hid behind the tree again so I used my clippers to try and push it back around and it would not move! It knew what I was trying to do! It finally fell off the tree and I cut it in half and I remember its yellow face and I thought "how odd". Tomorrow Im going to try and hunt it down from my little trash that I use. I will also take clippings of all my trees including my neighbors avocado! If its positive I am going to have a nice little talk with them as Im sure vector control will be here soon.

I pray that Im wrong but my plum is looking worse by the day. I feel sick inside


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Blaze, yesterday I took samples from our four ornamental dark leafed plum trees into the Los Angeles plant pathologist and he said 'plum leaf scorch' straight away, xylella fastidiosa. He said he sees ornamental plum trees all over SoCal right now dying of this disease. The lab have yet to confirm the disease but I've looked at pics of infected trees online and they look just the same as ours. Jerry Turney, the pathologist, said he sees olive trees dying too.

This disease affects a lot of trees, but it is very slow to grow in the tree and kill them. Five years was the time frame that kept coming up. From what I read and heard about this disease I think your tree was infected a long time ago. There is no treatment for this problem. I don't know if cutting back the avocado would have done anything. You may also want to find out if the same stand of the disease that affects avocado will affect plum - there are strains that are particular to different plant species.


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

I got the results back and everything was negative.

But, the person who did the testing assumed that I sent in the avocado tree because of the "red leaves" I never said anything to them about the red on the leaves. The scientist or whoever was analyzing my samples basically over looked everything I wrote in my comment section and addressed something that I never even thought of or asked them about. They sent me back a letter stating that all my samples were "negative of any disease pathogens" but gave no further explanation of what the lesions were or what the black spots/lesion were on my mandarin. The only thing they said was "red growth on avocado is not indicative of a disease. It is indicative of new growth". And I never said anything about the red leaves. I knew they were new growth. Ive been living with this tree for 30 year! Lol But it made me think that if they assumed I thought the red leaves was the disease that they ignored all my other questions so now I dont even know if they actually looked for disease or not.

I thought scientists were not supposed to assume things? I found it odd that they would write a paragraph in regards to something that I never even brought up or had an issue with but then IGNORED all my other questions about actual visual blemishes on my leaves and small fruit.

EDIT: I just got off the phone with the person who tested and he assured me there are no disease pathogens on any of the samples that I sent him. He was actually very friendly and went into detail about how he examined everything.

Basically I applied copper and oil on my tree as the new growth was emerging and things went BAD. The damage highly resembles shot hole/leaf scorch. But if this guy is wrong and in 5 years from now things keep getting worse. Ill be a little upset..lol


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Blaze, yesterday I took samples from our four ornamental dark leafed plum trees into the Los Angeles plant pathologist and he said 'plum leaf scorch' straight away, xylella fastidiosa. He said he sees ornamental plum trees all over SoCal right now dying of this disease. The lab have yet to confirm the disease but I've looked at pics of infected trees online and they look just the same as ours. Jerry Turney, the pathologist, said he sees olive trees dying too.

This disease affects a lot of trees, but it is very slow to grow in the tree and kill them. Five years was the time frame that kept coming up. From what I read and heard about this disease I think your tree was infected a long time ago. There is no treatment for this problem. I don't know if cutting back the avocado would have done anything. You may also want to find out if the same stand of the disease that affects avocado will affect plum - there are strains that are particular to different plant species.


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Well, this is distressing to me, nativesoil, as I have about 15 olive trees that line the back of my side yard, and look exceedingly lovely. As well as several plums and inter specifics (pluots, plum cots) as well as a couple of ornamental plums. I know I have Oleander Leaf Scorch, and have an unattended orange orchard immediately adjacent to my property, where sharpshooters can live. Xylella fastidiosa has a large number of host plants, and can affect a fairly large number of plants/trees as well, so this is pretty upsetting. In fact, I can't remember where I was yesterday, but I noticed someone's olive tree with a large dead area and wondered what would have caused that. Have to remember where I saw it, and go back are examine it more closely. Sure hope it wasn't near my property.

Patty S.


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Dang that is too bad Patty. I have heard that Oleander leaf scorch is a form of Xyllela fastidiosa? I have read that caltrans has lost millions of dollars worth of oleanders along the highway due to this disease also. Its scary. Driving around here I can see all the scorched oleander bushes. I grew up with one in my backyard to they are kind of sentimental to me.

The wine industry fears this disease as well. This is like the HLB for the wine grape industry. And its sad that our backyard plums might be affected.

But they told me that avocado trees are not affected and that most of these sharpshooters live in orange orchards so I would definitely be on the lookout Patty.

Xyllela affect citrus and peaches also. It causes PPD in peaches and Variegated chlorosis in citrus. Scary stuff.

Also Patty I had found an old thread of yours where your new peach trees were showing signs of maybe a nitrogen deficiency or leaf blight? They had red spots on the leaves. How did that turn out? Did you clear it up? How are they doing? A new peach of mine is showing similar signs but I think its just nitrogen deficiency.


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Oh nativesoil. When you get the results come back here and post them so we can know. Also it would be good if you had pictures as well. I couldnt find many plums infected with the disease online.

And I think I got lucky with my plum as it is only a year or 2 old and just planted fresh from the grower (Pacific Groves) A couple months ago. I did spray some copper and neem oil on it at the same time. Now I know what the effect of copper and neem can do to a tree. I also sprayed my peach tree and it scorched it as well. It almost resembles shothole mixed with over fertilizer.

I hope your tree is OK. Maybe it is something similar? I know alot of things can look like leaf scorch but I have heard of all the problems with this Xyllela Crap. I love plums and all my fruit and this disease is INCURABLE.


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RE: Plum tree might be infected

Here is a photo of the plum tree. Its a year old and was planted bare root from PG 2 months ago. It looks good now that the phytoxicity has stopped:-) The damage was not too bad, just some burnt leaves. Dont mind its "plot" Im going to expand its area this weekend. Right now its 2x2 and I plant on increasing it to 4x4 like my other plots. I leave all the grass clippings and old leaves in as mulch to increase earthworms. So far Ive counted 5 new poo piles!! In a week you wont even be able to notice any cut grass or leaves because the worms eat them so fast I guess. The soil is getting nice and dark:-) I can be lazy at times.
Plum1Old


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