Spotting on Plum Tree Leaves

Written by carly reynolds
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Spotting on Plum Tree Leaves
Plum Tree Bearing Fruit (plum image by sasha from

The plum tree (Prunus salicina) matures to a height of 10 to 35 feet and provides numerous sweet fruits. This tree grows in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9 and thrives in many types of well-drained soil when it receives direct sunlight. While generally healthy, the plum can suffer from bacterial spot and cherry leaf spot diseases.

Bacterial Spot

Bacterial spot is a disease that commonly infects plum trees. This disease often affects plum trees that live in a climate that receives more than 20 inches of rain annually.

Symptoms of Bacterial Spot

One of the symptoms of bacterial spot is small black spots or flecks that appear on the leaves and on the fruit itself. On the leaves, they will look like a water spot at first, and then the middle of the spot will fall out and leave a hole. The spots are usually along the outer edges or the centre vein of the leaf. The disease can cause the leaves and fruit to drop off.

Controlling Bacterial Spots

The best way to prevent bacterial spot is to plant a cultivar of plum tree that is more resistant to the disease. If that is not an option, copper compounds and other spray applications can help prevent this disease.

Cherry Leaf Spots

Cherry leaf spot is a disease caused by a fungus called Coccomyces hiemalis. This fungus is generally not killed in the winter and can survive from one season to the next in diseased leaves that have fallen to the ground.

Symptoms of Cherry Leaf Spots

When a plum tree is infected with cherry leaf spot, small yellow spots appear. As the disease progresses, the spots turn brown and leaves fall off prematurely.

Controlling Cherry Leaf Spots

Clean up any leaves that fall to the ground so they can't infect other plants. You can also use benomyl fungicide spray, especially when you have many trees.

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