The Q&A Archives: Disease with Prunus Cistena

Question: Hi, I have several Prunus Cistena (Cistena Plum) planted around my house. One of them had a problem starting this year. It does not grow and keeps losing leaves. The remaining leaves are curled and much smaller than other Prunus Cistena. Also there are a lot of white stuff on the leaf surface. If you want, I can send you a picture for that. It seems to me it is dying. And the white stuff starts to appear on other shrubs surround it now, which makes me worried that the disease may spread to others. What could be the reason for this problem and how should I treat it? Thank you for the help.

Answer: A powdery white substance on foliage almost always means a fungal disease called powdery mildew. Be sure to rake up all the fallen leaves; next spring, just before the leaves unfurl, spray your tree with a preventative bordeaux (lime-sulfur). This is the same product used to protect apple trees from fungal diseases. Spray as the leaf buds begin to swell and it should protect your tree from further attacks. You can't stop the disease once it has a foothold, although you might try spraying a fungicide on the tree now to prevent the spread to your other plants. Best wishes with your landscape!

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