Please tell me this isn't Plum Pox!

murkwellJune 15, 2013

Even better, please tell me this is some sort of innocuous nutrient deficiency or pest on this Japanese plum.

The tree seems to be doing okay. It was grafted in 2012 onto a sucker of St. Julien that I transplanted. It has two varieties of Japanese plum grafted onto it plus some St. Julien growing. The scions were from an exchange.

I see ring shaped discoloration on several leaves (there are also holes, but those alone wouldn't concern me). The ring outlines are tinged reddish which is different from the images I've seen of plum pox.

The varieties may be Santa Rosa and AU producer (I'm going on fuzzy memory but they are labeled if it matters). I I don't recall if both grafted varieties are affected or just one, but the St. Julien doesn't seem to show these symtoms.

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I went through a recent plum pox scare. Even had leaf samples tested at USDA. They said negative. My peaches had rings on the leaves. But what really scared me was rings on some apricot fruit. To me the most telltale symptom is rings on the seeds and I didn't have that.

Yours probably isn't PPV but watch the fruit and particularly the seeds when they come along.

PPV has never been found in western US, just the area from MI to NY and Canada near there. Canada spent $180 million trying to eradicate and gave up opting for containment. So it will likely be to an area near us all at some point but hopefully not in our lifetime.

I'd only be really concerned if the budwood was a recent introduction from Europe where PPV is widespread.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 12:58PM
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murkwell

Thanks for the response Fruitnut.

I will keep an eye on it. The thing is, I'm not too invested in the tree. The two varieties on it are interesting but nothing I'm dying for and they aren't so far along yet that starting over would be too demoralizing.

It was cool that this tree was grafted by me on rootstock that I propagated myself.

On the other hand, I have a number of other stone fruits near it, some of which are much better established. If this were a greater than 5% chance of being plum pox I'd want to dig it out and burn it ASAP to avoid spread in the orchard.

It sounds like it is probably sub 5% so I will wait and watch.

BTW, did the USDA tell you what caused the symptoms that you were concerned might be caused by plum pox virus?

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 4:42PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Just some kind of virus, probably several, but maybe prunus necrotic ringspot virus, PNRVS, which is very widespread.

I've never shipped in budwood or gotten anything from a scion exchange since moving to TX 10 yrs ago. I did bring trees grafted with such from CA but they don't have PPV.

Here is a link that might be useful: peach viruses

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 7:18PM
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murkwell

Hmm, I have peach trees that aren't that healthy and sour cherries that were doing so poorly that I tore 3 trees out.

If they can all harbor the same viruses as plum, it sounds like there's no point in sweating this one plum tree. I will have to reconsider sharing scions with friends. How disappointing.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:13AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Murky:

Except for fruit off that one apricot all mine has been normal and high brix/flavor. This with trees that show, in some cases, severe leaf virus symptoms in late summer. That's when the virus leaf symptoms show up. The leaves look good Febr to July then start bleaching out on margins or other patterns.

What you have right now is likely bacterial or fungual.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 11:52AM
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