Combo Plum Tree: What could explain this?

kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)June 14, 2012

I have a 5-year-old combo plum with three varieties. This spring it leafed out fully and blossomed well, and then about 6-8 weeks ago, as the blossoms started to wilt, I also lost about 2/3 of the leaves on one side of the tree. One part of the tree stayed fully green and the other side was bare branches. I thought maybe it was on its last legs and considered removing it. However, I noticed that the bare branches all had lots of fruit forming. Several weeks later, the branches are re-leafing and the fruit continues to grow in size. At the time of the leaf drop, the temperatures were cool, but above freezing. Anyone care to guess what caused this? Here is a picture of the recovering tree:

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denninmi(8a)

Well, my best guess would be that there is some type of damage to the tissue somewhere towards the base of that branch, either an infection, canker or lesion, or it has been girdled, or is suffering some kind of graft rejection. When branches do weird things like that, I usually find something wrong in the wood when I cut them off. Verticillium is the #1 thing that comes to mind when some branches on a tree are dead or dying and others look normal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Extension publication about verticillium

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 10:07PM
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