En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Young Maple Dropping Leaves in Late Summer
September 05, 2013 - I have a 6-year-old maple tree. I'm not sure what type it is as the builder planted it. It is as tall as our two-story house and very healthy. It's the biggest tree in our neighborhood because we fe...
view the full question and answer

Care of Live Oaks
July 11, 2012 - We have Two Young Live Oaks in the front of Our home. We had them treated for insects, ect. Now what can we do to make them Full Green and Happy Happy Happy again.Thank You
view the full question and answer

Live oaks exhibiting white foam spots from Round Rock, TX
June 08, 2014 - We have several native very large Live Oak in our backyard, and this summer we have noticed white foam spots on the branches. We live in Round Rock next to the Williamson County Park. The spots look...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Wound in Monterey Oak from Austin
June 20, 2012 - I have a 10 year old Monterey Oak that has developed a wound that is secreting a white bubbly substance that has attracted all the bugs, like butterfly's , pill bugs, ants, and several others I don'...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center