Plum tree fungus/mould

Hi, I’m looking for some advice on an ailing plum tree, which has been losing leaves to what appears to be a type of fungus or mould. There’s no fungus at the base of the trunk - I initially wondered if it might be honey fungus - but there is this grey white growth in patches on many of the branches. Does anybody know what this is and if there’s a treatment I could try. The tree is 40 years old, so I’m keen to save it if I can. Thanks in advance for your help.


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,148
    edited August 2019
    That is lichen and is not a problem as it doesn't harm the tree.  Lichen is actually a sign that you have clean air.  However, I think you are probably right about it being a fungal issue, probably with the roots but the pruning in the past looks to have been rather haphazard with branches cut off leaving long branch stumps so it could have caught and developed Silver Leaf disease or canker, but can't really tell from those photos.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 57,574
    I agree with @BobTheGardener above ... the lichen is not a cause for concern ... however lichen does make itself at home on slower growing plants so its presence on your tree indicates that the tree isn’t totally happy. 

    The tree does look somewhat congested ... it could do with some remedial pruning but that shouldn’t happen until late May/June next year or the tree will be susceptible to Silver Leaf Disease 

    In the meantime any grass/weeds should be cleared from about its base so that there’s a clear circle about 1m in diameter.  A thorough drenching with several gallons of water and an organic mulch will help. Then in the spring a feed with Fish, Blood & Bone organic fertiliser and then pruning can commence in May. 

    Some photos of the top growth when it’s leafless in the winter might help us to suggest your best pruning strategy. 

    “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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