Plum Tree Problems

Updated February 21, 2017

Plum trees will bear fruit for the entire growing season so long as they stay healthy and don't succumb to some of the problems that affect the plum tree. Although the problems are minor and can be controlled, you need to know what to look for so that you can stop it quickly.


Trees that are not pruned and kept healthy will not have a long life span. This can lead to insect infestation and disease. Pruning can eliminate structural defects with the plum tree.

Black Knot

Black knot disease is a fungus that affects the tree by killing off the smaller branches and will stunt the growth of the tree if it is not pruned in order to stop the spread of the disease. The long black knots form on the smaller tree branches.

Plum Pox Virus

Aphids can attack the fruit on the trees causing the plum pox virus when they feed on the fruit. This causes yellow or brown rings around the fruit causing the fruit to grow with deformities.

Brown Rot

Brown rot is a fungus that affects the small branches, fruit and blossoms. The tree will have fruit rot and cankers. When the fruit and twigs are wet, you can see greyish-brownish tufts.

Plum Rust Mites

The rust mite is a microscopic pest that causes the leaves to curl up and turn a silvery colour. The pests can be purple, pinkish or yellowish in colour.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles will attack plum trees that are not protected. A nursery will be able to help you select the right pesticide for the plum tree that is right for the time of year and location of the tree.

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