Fungus? Beautiful Plumeria Half dead, what to do?

irishblue82May 20, 2009

I love my Plumeria and I think if I don't act soon it might keel over on me!

About a year ago I remember a guy looking at it and saying he thought it had a "bug." I was thinking literal so I sprayed it with insecticide.. and I've done it over and over.

What I think he meant by bug was a fungus. Maybe the Plant is old..because it looks whitish/gray kinda bumpy branches with some cracks in them. Definite there is some sort of fungus on it because I can see it growing.

I noticed just the other day that half of it has leaves and half doesn't. So I went to test a branch and it snapped right off. Hollow inside. oddly enough down that same branch I see a little green spout. What do I need to do? Do I need to cut off the dead pieces? If I don't act properly will the whole thing die?

And if it is a fungus what do I spray on it? There was nothing at Home Depot or Lowes- could only find fungicide for rose bushes.

Here are some pictures. I took a lot.. tree is not looking good :( Also if you click on the pictures it will make them bigger.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any info!

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This is a follow up to my own question..

could something be wrong with the soil? I had a baby Plumeria growing.. it was growing strong the last 2 years and was actually starting to look tree like.

No Fungus on it..but it's shriveled up and dying. Kinda the consistency of a puff mushroom. Any Hope?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 5:38PM
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bri_fl(9 FL Lakeland)

Its kinda hard to see, and I'm NO expert but it looks to me that what you describe as a fungus and bumpy is just the fact that the branch has been dead for some time and just discintegrating. I would also guess that if you cut the branch the "good wood" will start just about where the little branches are coming out of. But lets get a couple of more opinions before you go hacking :)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:30PM
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Irishblue, first thing, that is a beautiful specimen. Have you considered taking a piece to a local nursery? Very, very odd what you have on your tree. In my humble opinion, not your soil. I would certainly look for someone locally to take a look. That tree is way too beautiful to take any risk of losing. I would only cut what is clearly dead or diseased. Are any of the branches 'mushy'?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 10:20PM
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Have you had any frost in the last year or so? I have a buddy who has several trees that had frost sitting on the limbs, and they tend to look like that. I don't know why it would only be on part of the tree, but from the pictures that would be my guess. Whatever it is, if you find out for sure, please share your findings with the group.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 3:45AM
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tdogdad(Zone 9)

I have several plants that were caught in the 07 freeze that look like that or worse. Some of them I sealed the cracks with DAP cedar tub and tile sealant and others I left. They all seem to be growing fine again. Bud Guillot told me he just puts a screw into the pealing part but I opted for the DAP which seamed to work. As long as the branches are not rotting inside, and are mushy, I think the plant keeps going. I had one I cut from about 7' down to 7" but it started new branches at the ground level and is coming back. Hope this helps. Bill

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 12:30PM
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Thanks to everyone who replied-

You can make the pictures bigger if you click on them.

I did bring the pictures to a nursery and the man had no concern, so I may get a 2nd opinion.
He said there was a fungus but didn't recommend anything but cutting it off.
And He did say that because we did have a very cold winter that is why it is cracking and dying. Told me to cut the dead ends and "retrain" it. Which I'm not completely comfortable with. I will start cutting the bad pieces when they truly appear to be bad. I cut one and it looks like it's still alive to where I cut it. Kinda looks happier and healthier too, but that could be because it rained for 11 days here!

As far as being mushy? There are a few Spots. Any suggestions?

Oh and thanks for the tip on The DAP. That may be an option for me as well :)

I also read online to combine Equal amts of Milk and Water to use as a fungicide and a fertilizer. So I'm trying that.
But doesn't that contradict each other? Fungicide AND A fertilizer. If the Nitrogen is good for plants.. wouldn't it also be good for a fungus too? I'm trying it out.. if the mushrooms stay I'll cut them off. Just a test really.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 3:50PM
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freak4plumeria(So CA zone 10)

Your plumie definitely looks like it had some kind of cold damage based on your cracks and the color and texture fo the bark/skin around the cracked aress. Like Bill posted that after the 07 cold spell a lot of people in So Cal had the same issues with rotting/hollow branches, black fluid oozing out of the tips even months after the cold. I think you had cold damaged that ended up rotting out branches on your tree. I had a friend with a 9yo Hilo beauty tree that sustaned damage due to the cold and it hollowed out like your. To date his H B sent out new branches from the base/bottom trunk and the hollow branches are still there cracks and all. Fungus is s natural progression after a plant dies off like that due to dammage. I think you should just wait and see what happens when it gets warmer, to see if new branches sprout of if the decay spreads.

Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 10:40PM
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