Diseases of trees and shrubs

We took over a very overgrown garden last year - cleared out conifer but left fruit trees even though we were not sure whether they were still alive.  Most have come into leaf, but I suspect they may have issues.  One Plum on the land behind us is quite close to my new native hedge - one hedging whip has started to get very shrivelled leaves at the top of the whip and I want to nip this in the bud before it spreads.

Can anyone recommend a spray I can use on these old trees to control many of the common diseases - caused by the area being overgrown and overshadowed by 30' conifers for years.

Any other advice would be gratfully received.



  • philippa smith2philippa smith2 Posts: 6,170

    HD...........perhaps if you posted photos of the affected trees, someone may be able to help you.

    It would be better to id the problem/pest before you spray anything I thinkimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    My gut feeling, without seeing the trees, is that it's not a spray that the trees need - you've done half the job by removing conifers and allowing sunlight and fresh air to get to them.  The conifers will also have dried out the soil and robbed it of nutrients.

    Remove grass and other plants from around each tree trunk leaving bare earth diam. 3ft.  Feed with Fish Blood & Bone (according to directions on pack) now, again in August and October.  Watering it in (3 buckets full per tree) and mulching each tree with organic material, well-rotted manure, garden compost etc.  Don't let it touch the tree trunks. 

    Prune out any dead, diseased or crossing branches to open them out and let the air get to the centre of the trees.  Do the pruning this month and this will help avoid any plum or cherry trees from contracting silver leaf disease.

    This will enable the trees to grow healthily and they'll be more resistant to any pests and diseased there are around.

    I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will come along soon and give you more specific pruning advice to encourage fruiting etc. 

    Hope that's helpful image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Someone more knowledgeable than you,Dove?  Surely not!  Anyway I agree with all that image

    Shrivelled leaves on plum trees could be causd by an infestation of aphids.  Ladybirds and hoverflies are what you want there - encourage the latter with nectar-rich flowers like pot marigolds and poached-egg plant.  In the meantime you could pinch out the worst affected twigs and burn them.  Or it could be peach leaf curl, about which I know hardly anything.

    I'm sure you'll be highly delighetd with the plums eventually!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    If you planted a wildlife hedge you've made an excellent start. Don't spoil your efforts by getting the sprays outimage

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    Steve, I used to live in a village surrounded by commercial orchards and fruit growers so when my fruit trees needed pruning a very knowledgeable and experienced chap in the village would do them for me - now I'm having to learn how to do it myself - John Cushnie's book How to Prune is my bible image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Dove, I wished you lived nearer, you could come and do mine.  My apple tree is very sad, it still has apples on (at the moment) but is sad with lots of brown leaves and I don't know where to start....or should I say I'm scared to in case I do it wrong and kill it, it's a lovely big old apple tree image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,619

    TLC OL, food and water - most oldies don't have enough of either if they're left to their own devices - humans and fruit trees that is image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Ha ha Dove image Should I dig out a 'border' around the tree do you think as at the moment it is grassed right up to the tree......I can't feed it with grass there can I? (Answer - no you can't Tracey, you need to tell OH that in order to save the tree it needs some grass removing all around it image)

  • anniegirlanniegirl Posts: 20

    I bought two dwarf fruit trees which were bare rooted, they seemed to do well until last week when I noticed what I can only describe as leaf curl. One tree isa cherry and the other is plum, they look healthy with no other signs of distress, am I being paranoid?

     Hope I have given enough of a description.


  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    As above, either aphids or peach leaf curl at a guess, Annie.

    I might have to get that book, Dove.  I used to love his contributions to GQT.I can do basic pruning, OL, and not that far away.

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