Plum tree diseases

Updated November 21, 2016

Juicy, sweet plums are the delight of many a fruit lover. They are good in pies, crumbles, jams and dried as prunes. Plum trees offer fragrant scents and garden shade but, unfortunately, plum trees can fall victim to disease.

Geographic factors

Plum trees are native to the UK and other parts of Europe. Plum trees can grow most anywhere but they are susceptible to spring chills and frost, insects and mites, fungus and viruses.

Disease types

Black knot distorts the appearance of the plum tree by creating large black knots on the tree branches. The infected tree will weaken progressively and eventually die. Plum pockets is caused by spores that travel from fruit to fruit causing the plum to swell, become misshapen and spongy, and keeps the plum from creating seeds. Other problems include silverleaf and fly maggots.

Disease prevention

Most plum tree diseases can be prevented by regular pruning, pest removal and overall general precautionary care. Harvest the fruit quickly to prevent any unnecessary fungus growth.


Pitted fruits are among the hardest to grow because of the amount of diseases, viruses, fungi and other problems that can crop up. Take extra care when planting, growing and harvesting plums.

Expert insight

Many companies specialise in plum tree disease prevention and plum tree care. Let the experts take care of the brown rot while you prepare the jars for jam-making.

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