purple leaf plum tree problems

faerieannette(z7 MD)September 6, 2006

Currently I have a very old red maple. It has alot of problems and I have finally decided to take it down.

In its place I want to plant a purple leaf plum tree. It would be a sort of memorial for my huabands little brother Patrick. His parents had one in their back yard and I think it is such a hansom tree.

I am worried because, I have read on here that they have alot of problems with disease and bugs like japanease beetles. I never noticed any at Tim's parents thought the weaping cherry near by always had tons of japanease beatles. I also have a small weaping cherry but no beetles in the past 2 years I have owned it.

should I look into a red leaf crabapple instead?

Anyone have one in maryland with problems?

thanks,

Annette

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Mike Larkin

If you have read from others on this forum that this is not a great tree ( which is correct) then what can I say to convince you to pick another tree.

Go to a good nursery in your area and ask them what grows best in your area

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 9:51PM
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pennie

Hello Faerieannette,
The purple-leaf cherry-plum I planted in my yard 3 years ago in Saint Leonard, Southern Maryland, does seem to attract Japanese Beetles but I love the tree and wouldn't replace it. The tree anchors one side of my backyard. The foliage really stands out especially after I put a 6' diameter border around the tree this year and added red mulch. I can deal with the Japanese Beetles-they are a pest we just have to remain on our guard with. I have a rose garden too which attracts the bugs as well.
If you live in a neighborhood with houses relatively close by the tree displays well and will attract notice. If you live surrounded by woods, as I do, the tree is yours to enjoy alone from the deck.
I hope this helps your decision to plant the tree.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:37AM
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gardengranma(6a/6b MD)

How about a red Japanese Maple? I may have seedlings in the spring (I usually do).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 5:12AM
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gardenpaws_VA(z7 NoVA)

Annette,
Either a Japanese maple (they come with a variety of leaf forms, actually), or a serviceberry (which doesn't have the dark red leaves, but is about the same size tree, and has 4-season appeal) would have fewer pests in my experience. I eventually lost all my purple-leaf plums to borers and disease over a 20-year period, and I think they just aren't worth it for the long haul.

Given my preference for fruit as well as looks, I'd go for the serviceberry, or hunt for one of the fruiting plums or crabs that has dark foliage (and not expect a long life).

If the leaf color is the main attraction, consider either Cotinus (smokebush) or the dark-leaved form of redbud (can't remember the cultivar name). Both are fairly tough.

Good luck - Robin

    Bookmark   February 1, 2007 at 10:33PM
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finishfast_hotmail_com

I have a leaf problem on my purple leaf plum tree. I took a leaf sample to a horticulturist at the Fort Worth botanical garden. He was puzzled by the problem and suggested that I plant another tree because purple plums have a 10 year lifespan where I live. He wasn't sure but said it might be a leaf borer or miner. I asked for treatment ideas and he said he didn't know. So, I took my problem to a nursery. Same thing....think its a leaf miner but not sure. They suggested a fertilizer and increase watering because the tree might be sick.

The purple leaf and has white circles (like drops of paint) and a lot of holes (bb size). The white spots turn to brown before the hole appears. All old leaves are affected not new growth. Its just a foliage problem. From pics that i have seen, it's not typical of a leaf miner problem.

No bugs are on the tree. No mites on the bottom of the leaves. Just white spots and lots of holes.

Anyone have any suggestion on what my problem might be and possible treatment?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2007 at 8:43PM
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finishfast_hotmail_com

I have a leaf problem on my purple leaf plum tree. I took a leaf sample to a horticulturist at the Fort Worth botanical garden. He was puzzled by the problem and suggested that I plant another tree because purple plums have a 10 year lifespan where I live. He wasn't sure but said it might be a leaf borer or miner. I asked for treatment ideas and he said he didn't know. So, I took my problem to a nursery. Same thing....think its a leaf miner but not sure. They suggested a fertilizer and increase watering because the tree might be sick.

The purple leaf and has white circles (like drops of paint) and a lot of holes (bb size). The white spots turn to brown before the hole appears. All old leaves are affected not new growth. Its just a foliage problem. From pics that i have seen, it's not typical of a leaf miner problem.

No bugs are on the tree. No mites on the bottom of the leaves. Just white spots and lots of holes.

Anyone have any suggestion on what my problem might be and possible treatment?

    Bookmark   September 1, 2007 at 2:27AM
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navalahuja_gmail_com

I have a 7 to 8 year old plum tree in the front yard and it does not seem to be doing well. The leaves are not as dense as as previous years and are drooping. There is also some greenish powdery stuff on the trunk. We are not sure what's wrong.

Can you please help us diagnose the problem and the treatment?

Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 12:54PM
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marymd7

It would be difficult to find a more disease-ridden problematic tree than a purple leaf plum. Seriously, plant something else. Particularly if this is a memorial tree for a loved one, you don't want to plant this tree.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:37AM
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fiter354_verizon_net

My tree leaves are geting very dry.I went to a nursury & they me that it could be too much rain !Please help me i dont want io lose this tree.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 10:16AM
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yellomustang_yahoo_com

The truck has large cracks, unhappy tree. Can you help?
Afraid they will die, getting worse.
can I send a photo somehow?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 2:44PM
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superstan1_hotmail_com

The plum is a strikingly beautiful specimen tree, but it is notoriously short-lived (in some zones it won't exceed 10 years); it is susceptible to bark-cracking, diseases such as cankers on branches, leaf-shot on leaves (small holes caused by bacteria), pear saw-fly (larva of their eggs develop on leaves, resembling tiny slimy tadpoles, and they feed on the leaves). If your soil isn't perfect (rich in humus, or if it's a bit clay-heavy), this adds to the short lifespan. I will probably sadly remove mine after this summer, as a number of branches have been dying (possibly verticillium wilt), the leaves lose their beauty because of above-mentioned insects, and it's only 7 years old. I'll replace it with a specimen that is more disease-tolerant and insect resistant.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 12:36PM
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