En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 08, 2013

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Disease or insect damage on a Mexican plum
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Help, Our Mexican plum tree is about 13-14 years old. Earlier this year we noticed the trunk is oozing black stuff and whole branches are dying off. We have watched as our beloved tree has lost most of its remaining leaves this summer and want to know if this is just old age?? or perhaps something called verticullum??Chlrosis? SP? Is there anything we can do to save it outside of fumigating the ground? Would we be able to replant another Mexican plum in this location without treating the ground?

ANSWER:

Peach and plum trees are relatively short lived, often peaking around 10 years of age.  But it all depends upon conditions around the individual tree.  Your plum seems to be suffering from a fungal or bacterial disease, such as canker, or from attacks by borer insects.  The indicated websites give instructions for diagnosing the tree's problem and treating it. Deciding whether to doctor the tree or replace it probably depends upon your sentimental attachment to it.  A replacement tree should do well if you have taken the recommended precautions to destroy any pests that persist in the soil.  Also, young trees are usually more resistant to diseases than older ones.

If you do decide to replace your Mexican plum tree it would be best to wait until winter.  Replacements will be available in your local plant nurseries.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Care of a live oak with decay and perhaps fungus on trunk
July 14, 2011 - I have a huge live oak on my property in Salado that just lost a very large branch. The branch had decay in the center and also has a variety of bugs in it, espeically since it has been on the ground...
view the full question and answer

Dying non-native St. Augustine grass from Austin
May 02, 2013 - Although we all know St. Augustine grass is not a good thing, I am stuck with it and am trying to save areas that appear to have take-all fungus. I have done much reading online and have tried peat m...
view the full question and answer

Need some help with a Plumbago plant in Mission, TX.
August 06, 2010 - Hello..I live in south South Texas and have a plumbago. It gets about 4 to 5 hours of direct sun and lately some of the branches and leaves turn bright green almost yellow. Am I over watering or is ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with sunflowers in Florida
November 03, 2006 - I planted sunflowers on the west side of my house where I have previously planted them and they grew wonderfully. These new ones, however, seem to be dying, (less than 2 weeks). I bought the plants at...
view the full question and answer

Berry-looking parasites on live oak leaves
September 20, 2013 - Dripping Springs TX Live oaks. What are these berry looking parasites on my tree's leaves. As many as 4 1/4 in berries per leaf. I have 3 acres with dozens of liveoaks all having them on the leav...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center