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Victoria Plum - disease?

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We've recently got an allotment (UK) that has two plum trees on from the previous allotment owners. I've identified some definite brown rot on the two trees, but I am also wondering if there is an additional problem with them, or if it is a sign of brown rot to come?

The photo shows some hard brown dots/areas on the plums. I spoke to someone else on the allotments and she said this is normal for plums and it goes when they are ripe, but I am not convinced - no photos online look like this! Pretty much every plum on the two trees looks like this to varying degrees.

Does anyone have any idea what it is?

Thank you!

Posts

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    It looks like there is brown rot. I don't know how many are affected, but you need to remove them and don't leave them hanging. Any fallen fruits also need to be removed immediately. If your tree branches are dense, the fruit rot can transfer onto other areas. 

    Some of the leaves looks like it's had a kind of aphid attack too. Your trees may have been under stress. In spring time, it might be a good idea to thin out your tree, as too many dense branches encourage this to happen. Your tree should be not been grown in over-heavy soil, as in the winter time, there could be water-logging, which stresses the tree.

  • Izzy123Izzy123 Posts: 4

    Thank you so much for your help! Will it be a problem to just remove all the fruit from the trees then to try and fully eliminate it this year? As pretty much all, if not all fruit, has been affected in some way, small or large.

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    You mentioned two trees, so is the other tree affected too? From what I know, some of the early signs are poor show of blossoms in spring, so if you saw them shrivel up and drop off prematurely, the tree has had this carried over previously. The problem is, they do spread, so it is important to remove all the fruits if more or less all are affected. I can't see a picture of the whole tree, but if it is tall, you will need to also look at the top part of the tree. 

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    Apologies, I just re-read your original post! It does sound like it's spread possibly even from other areas of your allotment. Pick up dropped fruit. It's not all lost. The trees need some management and I'm sure in time, and further advice from others here, you should be able to eliminate some of the issues seen now. Next spring, cut off branches that are clearly rubbing onto other branches. Fruits growing densely, needs air circulation. Otherwise it attracts fungal growth and rot. The only way is to be harsh in spring time and cut off some branches. A big canopy limits sunlight onto your branches. If your tree is weak, aphids will attack. Look at the soil type too. 

  • Izzy123Izzy123 Posts: 4

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    Yes, both are affected. I'm not worried about having a plum crop this year as we only just got the allotment (didn't see it blossom unfortunately) so I think removing all fruit will be the best approach. I've included a picture of the biggest tree. I'm getting conflicting advice on whether July is a suitable time to prune!

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,639

    Thanks for posting a picture. You can prune now, but I also suggest a more careful prune in spring time next year to really work out which branches should be thinned out. The idea is to create more space between branches. The sun needs to get to these branches, and also create good air-flow. Unfortunately, you will need to gather away all the plums for this year and wait to see what happens next year.

  • Izzy123Izzy123 Posts: 4

    Thank you so much!!!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,481

    Aghast at the idea of wasting plums I googled and discovered Pickled Green Plums ... http://family-friends-food.com/pickled-green-plums-middle-eastern-springtime-treat/ 

    I've never tried it but if your unripe plums are ok inside I'd have a go at it if I were you ... and then let us know what you think ... sounds delicious to me ... I've not got a plum tree image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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