Ask a Question forum: Stanley Plum Tree in Distress

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Vancouver Island, British Colu
Jul 29, 2017 12:05 PM CST
Our Stanley Plum tree, approximately five years old, shows signs of distress. PH levels in the area range from 6 1/2 to 7 and the tree gets plenty of water. One part of the tree shows good growth and appears healthy, the other part has yellowing shriveled leaves. The first photo shows sickly leaves. In the second photo, the branch to the right is healthy and the rest of the tree is sickly. We would appreciate any advice and/or answers.
Thumb of 2017-07-29/Margaret234/31505f

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Jul 29, 2017 12:31 PM CST

The second photo tells the whole story. Something is attacking the trunk of your tree so parts of the top are dying. Have you seen any oozing? Is the damage all the way around? Any signs of something boring into the wood under the bark?

There is a thin layer of tissue (cambium) directly below the bark that carries moisture from the roots to the leaves and sugars from the leaves back to the roots. The bark protects that layer and the inside of the tree holds the whole thing up. As stripes of bark are destroyed, the cambium layer dies and the connection between the roots and leaves is broken and sections of tree will die.

One more thought: Do you have deer?
You need to figure out what's damaging the bark on your tree before the entire tree is dead.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

[Last edited by DaisyI - Jul 29, 2017 12:33 PM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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Jul 29, 2017 5:37 PM CST
I have had trouble with keeping Stanley plum trees very long. They seem to be susceptible to a lot of diseases. The first one lasted about 5 years then died, the second one is 3 years old and dying never having produced any fruit. I love the purple plums but I think I'm through growing them.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great

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