Monday, November 23, 2009

Prunus Problems

I didn't realize it had gotten so bad.  I noticed a little sap a while back, but did not realize I should be alarmed.  We have 2 trees in the prunus family, a cherry and a plum.  They both seem to have a pretty severe case of bacterial canker. I thought it was a borer at first, but they tend to make a mess down at the crown (just above the roots).  This starts at the graft and peels and oozes its way up the trunk.

It is really sad because the trees seem healthy otherwise but I am afraid their trunks are too small to withstand it.  Our friend Eva said we will probably need to destroy the trees and we read all kinds of scary things that lead us to believe we won't be able to plant any stone fruit.  No peaches, no apricots, no plums, no cherries.... I have found some resources that suggest copper spray may control it and that is spread by bacteria on the green leaves, not the cankers, but others say not so much and that the bacteria can live in the bark and become systemic.

If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.  Should I try to nurse these trees along or cut my losses and yank them out.  Should I risk planting again?  Maybe in the front yard?  My neighbors behind the back yard have plums.  I have not gotten a chance to look at their trees.

1 comment:

  1. so, i've checked in my dad's plant disease book here and it says that the bacteria can live around the margins of the cankers and also in healthy looking tissue since the bacteria basically effects the vascular system and becomes systemic.
    unfortunately, the bacterium effects the fruits as well, (since you threw around the idea of just keeping the trees and seeing if they produce), creating necrotic or rotting bits in the flesh and in the base of the buds.

    this looks like a staph infection to me.... like abcesses in human flesh. plants are similarly effected but by Pseudomonas syringae. this is really interesting plant pathology. at least we've learned something...