Plum Tree Care


Plum Tree Care

The leaves are eaten and tiny on my 5-year-old Plum Lucy tree and the bark is peeling. It did set heaps of fruit, but they all dropped off. What can I do to promote good health please?

The year-round programme required for care of your plum tree begins this month (May). As the leaves fall off your tree, collect and remove them from the area as this helps to prevent any overwintering insects or fungi being in proximity to your plum tree. 

Prune the tree to a "pickable" height of 3-4 meters maximum. When pruning is complete, spray the tree with copper oxychloride, an excellent 'clean up' fungicide. In early spring, apply Daltons Premium Tree and Shrub Fertiliser around the base of the tree and water in well. 

From the picture you supplied, it looks like the tree is growing in the lawn. We would recommend removing the grass 500-600 mm away from the trunk and covering the soil under the tree with fresh compost and Daltons Mulch and Grow. Keep applying fertiliser every five to six weeks until mid-December. 

Over summer regulate the water uptake of your plum tree i.e., if there is a dry spell, water deeply two to three times a week. This will help to prevent fruit fall when the fruit are still small. If the tree is exceptionally exposed to very strong winds, erect some temporary wind break over the summer months. 

Where the bark is peeling, gently remove and check for the appearance of any small insects. If present, spray with a good quality horticultural oil. It is also possible that the bark peeling was caused by the tree becoming stressed e.g., during an exceptionally hot, dry summer.

Recommence fertiliser applications from March until mid-April. At leaf fall in early-winter, spray again with copper oxychloride. Hopefully this programme of tree care will significantly improve the health of your plum tree.

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