Green Gage Plum Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Lenox, Mi
Question by ruprecht08
June 14, 2010
Turn yellow when ripe. Other than cutting of infected branches that get a hard fungus growing on branches, that can even bend a small branch downward, what causes this and what else can I do?

Answer from NGA
June 14, 2010


I wonder if the hard fungus is actually lichen. It's a green/gray growth and is quite common on trees and shrubs in areas of high rainfall. Lichen doesn't actually hurt the stem or branch, other than perhaps holding too much moisture against the bark and causing it to get soft. You can spray your plum tree with lime/sulfur when it is dormant to kill the lichen. It will die and eventually slough off on its own. When plums turn yellow, they are overripe. You may need to harvest a few when they are still green but the flesh gives slightly when pressed. Check to see if they are tasty and ripe. If so, it's time to harvest. If not, you can wait a week and check for ripeness again. Eventually you'd discover they are at the peak of perfection and you can harvest them all. Enjoy!

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