Plum Tree Diseases: Indentifying Common Plum Diseases

by johnah on March 2, 2021

Plum Tree Fungus Identification

The most common disease in plum trees is called “plum tree fungus”. Plum tree fungus causes brownish spots on the leaves and branches of the plum trees. These are not fungal infections, but rather they are caused by fungi. There are many types of fungi which cause these symptoms. Some of them have been identified as being harmful to plants or even deadly to humans!

However, there are other fungi which do not harm the plant at all. They may even benefit it. Therefore, fungicides cannot always control every type of fungus infection.

Plum tree fungus is one of the most common diseases affecting plum trees. It affects almost all varieties of plum trees including black cherry, golden apple, Japanese maple and others. Plum tree fungus is usually found on young branches and leaves where new growth occurs first. When the fungus grows into the branch, it produces its spores (little white spheres) which then germinate and grow into fruiting bodies. These fruiting bodies produce their spores on new growth which begins to appear later in the season.

If left unchecked, this fungus will eventually kill your plum tree.

Symptoms of Plum Tree Fungus

Black Cherry Disease – Black cherry disease is another common plum tree disease. This disease is caused by a fungus which attacks the leaves and the twigs of the black cherry tree. Young leaves are infected first, and then the fungus moves inwards and infects the entire tree. The disease causes yellowing of the leaves, wilting and brown spots or stripes on the leaves.

The disease can also kill young shoots and twigs. It also affects fruit trees or other trees growing nearby. The fungus attacks fruit trees and other plants through their roots.

Plum Leaf Scars – The leaves of your tree may have small, light gray marks or spots on them. This is a fungus which causes the spots. These spots are circular and several millimeters in diameter. The infected trees usually have lots of spots on their leaves. The fungus also causes the leaves to wilt and yellow and may eventually kill the tree completely.

Plum Tree Diseases: Indentifying Common Plum Diseases -

Fruit Rot – The fruit rot disease can affect your plums as they ripen. They will appear to shrivel and may have dark spots near the stem. This can also cause the fruit to become sticky when touched. The fungus that causes this disease is very aggressive.

Leaf Blight – This disease affects young leaves almost immediately. It will cause the leaves to wilt, turn yellow and then brown. The fungus may eventually kill the entire leaf, which then dries out and drops off of the tree.

There are several types of plum tree fungus which affect plums, and all of them cause the same symptoms. However, each one attacks the leaves, branches or the fruit of the tree.

Plum Tree Fungus Treatment

There is no cure for the fungus once it infects your plum trees. The only way to treat it is to prune off and dispose of all of the infected parts of the tree as soon as you see the symptoms.

Be careful when pruning the infected tree, however, as the spores from the fungus can infect anything they come into contact with. Make sure you disinfect your tools thoroughly after each cut so that you don’t spread the fungus to your other trees.

Once you have disposed of the infected tree parts, make sure that you keep your healthy trees away from any nearby trees growing in close proximity. This will help prevent the spread of the disease.

Plum Tree Fungus Pictures

Picture 1 – Plum Tree Fungus

This picture shows the actual fungus which causes doze, among other plum tree fungus diseases. It is a specific type of fungus known as “Cylindrocarpon molle”. This particular picture shows how the fungus appears when it is found on dead twigs or branches. You can see how it creates small bumps on the twig and has a cottony texture.

Plum Tree Diseases: Indentifying Common Plum Diseases -

Plum Tree Fungus Pictures Gallery

Cylindrocarpon molle Picture 2 – Black Cherry Fungus

Picture 3 – Black Cherry Fungus

Plum tree fungus treatment – How to prune your trees.

One method of treating tree fungus diseases is to prune off all of the infected tree limbs. Dispose of these limbs in such a way that you don’t infect other trees or plant life in the area. You can bury the limbs, but it is best to keep them away from your other trees just to be safe.

Another treatment for fungus diseases is to apply a fungicide. This should be done as soon as you notice the symptoms. Fungicide is a good way to treat and possibly even cure the fungus before it spreads and kills your trees.

Make sure that you read all of the directions carefully before applying any fungicide. Depending on the type of fungus you are treating, different types of fungicides will be more effective than others. Follow the instructions for the type of fungus that you are treating.

Most fungicides are only effective if applied before the fungus has spread too far. If the tree is already showing signs of dying, the best option is to prune off and dispose of all of the infected limbs, then apply a sealant over the cuts to keep the rest of the tree from further exposure.

Sources & references used in this article:

SUSCEPTIBILITY OF STONE FRUIT TREES TO THE JAPANESE PLUM-TREE DECLINE CAUSAL AGENT. by L Giunchedi, C Poggi-Pollini, R Credi – … on Fruit Tree Virus Diseases …, 1982 –

Plums by WR Okie, JF Hancock – Temperate fruit crop breeding, 2008 – Springer

Causal agent of sharka disease: historical perspective and current status of Plum pox virus strains by T Candresse, M Cambra – EPPO Bulletin, 2006 – Wiley Online Library

Silver-Leaf Disease.—IV. by FT Brooks, HH Storey – Journal of pomology and horticultural …, 1924 – Taylor & Francis

Medium for isolation and growth of bacteria associated with plum leaf scald and phony peach diseases by JM Wells, BC Raju, G Nyland… – Applied and …, 1981 – Am Soc Microbiol



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