Plumb Tree Damage

Krazy-in-FloridaMarch 24, 2013

This is a Santa Rosa Plumb. Quick story behind it.

I planted this plumb in the spring of 2004, before hurricane Ivan pounded us. We had 130+ winds. The growth appeared to be stunted the following years to come. I kinda wrote it off. Last year I planted some fish beside it and it exploded. It added around 3.5' of growth over one season.

Now I'm paying close attention to it with fertilizer and mulch. I have damage to it. I'm almost positive the wounds were from the lawn mower deck hitting it over the past years. My question is, should I me treating the wounds with something? Could it be I'm wrong on the mower deck causing the wounds?

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    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:05AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont see the root flare.. its what we tree peeps call 'telephone poled' ... planted too deep .. and that is stressing the plant ...

and plum is subject to gummosis ... which is increased in a very stressed tree ..

i see no evidence of mulch ...

and fert is not going to help a tree with a systemic uncurable disease ...

but.. being a tree.. it might live another decade..

its up to you whether you wish to invest or divest ...

do NOT paint it .. though i do know the fruit nuts sometimes do that ... but i bet not for systemic disease ...


    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:05AM
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I was cleaning out the grass getting ready to install fresh mulch in that pic. I hate to rip it up when it grew so much last year. I think I'll give it this summer and see what happens.

I forgot to mention, it has never bared fruit. The other trees I planted at the same time never grew well. I thought it was because of the hurricane that year.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:18AM
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Ken, is there any help of corrective measure for it if I planted it too deep?

Thanks for your help!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:20AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I don't have any experience in Florida tree culture, but I'll offer a few comments on general fruit tree culture.

You're probably right the tree damage was caused by the mower (at least the lower damage). Mowers and weed eaters are natural enemies of backyard fruit trees. From now on, keep them away from your trees.

The top wound doesn't look good, but it may yet heal. I think I see healthy callus tissue trying to seal off the wound, amongst the black.

I'm going to recommend more fertilizer in this case. Trees in a state of high vigor callus faster and have a better chance of fighting canker. Plant some more fish around the tree.

As Ken mentioned, it's best to plant the tree at the correct depth, but this is more an issue where trees are planted too deeply in poorly drained soils. I believe most FL soils are lighter and drain fairly well. If this is the case, the depth of your tree at planting probably has little to do with the tree's current problem.

Keep a nice organic mulch ring around the tree (clear to the drip line) water the tree thoroughly if you have prolonged heat and dry weather, fertilize with your fish, and your tree will probably heal just fine.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 11:25AM
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