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What is wrong with my Pluot and Plum trees?

I live in Illinois in zone 6. I planted both trees approximately four years ago.
Both my Pluot and Japanese plum tree seemed to have a bit of a rough time. My Pluot grows fantastic and then entire sections of the tree die off. The new growth looks fantastic but eventually the bark gets scaly and leaks sap in some areas. When I have pruned back the tree, I have notice brown dead sections in the branch. I have attached picture below...I am not sure if it is brown rot, black knot, a canker, or what. Is this effectively a death sentence for the tree?imageimageimage

My plum tree seems to have a similar but not nearly as threatening issue. I have also attached pictures of its bark. It also seems very prone to having the plums rot on the tree well before they should be ripe.imageimage

My apple, pear, black-berries, etc all have no issues in the same backyard.

I appreciate the help!


  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    From the pictures, it does look like a possible bacterial canker issue. How was the blossoms in spring? Did you notice any shrivelling up? If no, then it's not likely to be brown rot. You do not mention any issues with your fruits.

    Best done in spring time. It's important to prune away the dying sections. You will need to go quite far back into good wood. Dispose the wood and make sure all dropped leaves are promptly taken away too. Do not compost them. Rake off all leaves that are lying around and even scrape off the top layer of soil if it is not grass underneath. Check the trunk area carefully. If it is also in the trunk area, it is very possible your tree will not survive. 

  • Shawn3Shawn3 Posts: 2

    I have never received good fruit from either tree.  The fruit appears to rot early on the branches well before they should be picked.  Unfortunately, the entire tree is covered from the trunk up.  Only the new growth looks good.  The leaves do have brown spots and the shotgun pattern holes in them even approaching fall.  

  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    My apologies, I missed reading the middle section of your original post between the photographs. It's likely you had issues like this with your plums on previous years. I believe that the fungal infection spread to your branches quite a few years back, but it was not picked up or never treated correctly.

    Unfortunately, rotting fruit left hanging on the trees for any amount of time coupled with leaves not promptly removed often spreads the fungal infection onto your branches eventually. This over time weakens your branches which is why it is possible you had secondary wounds that may have spread, causing leaves to come under attack too. Couple that with the trees being so young, it is harder to fend off this kind of attack compared with a mature tree.

    I still think, follow my previous instructions and wait and see how things go next year. You mentioned some new growth that looks hopeful. Let's see.

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