The Q&A Archives: purple leaf plum tree

Question: last fall i planted a purple leaf plum tree. it was about 6 or 7 feet tall and was in good bloom when i planted it. come the next spring the tree bloomed the pinkish white flowers and then the purple leaves. the tree got a bout half way up with the purple leaves then just stopped blooming at all around early summer. the leaves did show some signs of being eaten by insects then slowly and painfully they all turned dead and brittle brown and most fell off,now the tree is a skeleton. the tree faces dead west and takes a major beating from the sun, i have some bald cypress in the front and the get sun scald on their lower halves only every summer. so i think the sun may be the problem and i just planted it in the wrong spot. i have a very heavy clay soil once you get about 5 inches deep. i have used root stimulators insect control all with no luck in reviving the tree. is there any hope???

Answer: Jerry,

I suspect the hot sun may also have been combined with a soil that got too dry or stayed soggy wet, both of which are deadly to roots. Remove grass and weeds from around the trunk and dig down a few inches to feel the soil. Water when it is no longer moist. If the initial damage was not too severe the plant may recover. Otherwise another location is probably going to be better for this species.

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