Help with distressed Pluot

This is my Flavor Supreme Pluot on Citation planted in 2/15. We harvested over a dozen delicious pluots from it in early to mid June. My wife alerted me to it’s condition this afternoon. I was just out walking the entire orchard Friday afternoon and didn’t see anything unusual.

Adjacent to the Pluot in the picture are Bella Gold Peacotum (right) and Blenheim apricot (left). Neither show any sign of distress. These three have been my most vigorous trees of the original plantings.

Any idea what is causing the leaves to dry out so rapidly? I have at least 4" of mulch down and we had over 1/2" of rain on Thursday. Today was also the first day I noticed the sap leaking from the base.

This tree has never shown any signs of distress. In fact, I have had to often trim these three trees to check vigor. I haven’t sprayed with anything in over a month, and the last fertilization was in early May with 6-12-12.

Any diagnosis and/or remedial action would be greatly appreciated. S

Here is a picture of the sap mentioned.

And here is a close up of the leaves.

Sure hope I’m wrong but it looks like canker to me. Here is some information on it Lets let some others give their opinions.

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I agree with Clark, that looks like a really bad canker. If it is all around the trunk it may well kill the tree. There is not much you can do at this point since the canker probably goes all the way around the trunk.


Thanks folks. The sap is only coming from one side so far. Any possible remedial action? Should I be concerned about it spreading to other trees?

Could be borers?

I’d remove the tree guard so you can better see what’s going
on with the tree. I think you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find.

I have the same problem with my Mariposa plum, and I think wont make it by the end of Summer.

These questions need to be accompanied with information of location. Where I am in SE NY a pluot with those symptoms this year is almost certainly the result of weather related cambium damage, I would expect canker to be a more gradual destructive force but I have little experience with that. Cambium burn is extremely common here, especially on J. plums and pluots most commonly grown in CA. This winter (or was it springs historically hard frost) killed my Dapple Dandy pluot, my Satsuma plum, my Emerald Beauty plum, and other cold sensitive J. plum types. Some died immediately coming into spring and some had a delay but they all looked a lot like yours if they managed to leaf out.

That black plastic will cause the trunk to heat up during the day which may leave it more vulnerable to sudden drops in temp.

If they can’t take the sun in NY how to they possibly thrive in CA? That is very strange if you ask me. My guess on this tree is it’s canker. Citation here seems to be prone to it. bet a lot of those other trees in the photo are on citation too, yet they have no problem. I would think all would be burned, if that was the problem. The trunk otherwise looks normal. Also with sun burn I see cracking and such, I don’t see any of that.
Alan, I bet those tree trunks on your Asian trees become warm in the winter sun, and then freeze at night, and the results are not really observed till spring. More a winter freeze-thaw problem. If that is what you meant as it is a form of sun scald, I agree with you. I can see that happening. I best wrap my young trunks, or protect them some way in the winter. That is where you see a lot of cracking. Happened to my Japanese maple, speaking of Asian plants! The tree seems fine though. The cracks appear to be healing.


Cambium burn is my term for freeze burn of cambium. That should be clear by my mention of it occurring either during our winter low or a freakish 17 degrees we got when J. plums were in full bloom.

I believe that very hard frosts in early spring may cause more of this here than winter lows based on seasons apricots have succumbed when winter lows were neither sudden nor unusually low. This winter the low was near “normal”, but it was preceded with historically mild temps. Because we had two freakish cold events, one in winter and one after first growth in spring, it is difficult to tell which created what damage here this year.

Yeah the spring was brutal, and I hate that as you’re in the 9th inning about to win, and mother natures hits one up they ally! My Japanese maple though was from winter. It is slow to come out of dormancy and so the spring freezes were not really damaging to the tree. Most plants that jump at the first sign of spring suffered the worst damage. I lost a blueberry plant even! Oh well, an opportunity to grow a different cultivar. I almost lost Sweetcrisp! It recovered, first blueberry plant going downhill that has turned around for me. I lost three in the last couple of years. So I’m impressed.
Legacy was the most impressive with full blooms during the time you mention in the spring, and the flowers not only survived the 22F three day stint, the flowers produced fruit, I just ate a couple yesterday.

I’m surprised at your issue with blueberries. I’ve never had a cold related loss in all the years I’ve grown them here. They are my main crop this year because they come out of dormancy and bloom late.

Well if I listened to your advice about growing things that work in my area, I would not have lost any! You know me though, always pushing on the envelope! SHB in containers (says it all). They all started to grow early. Next year they are going in the shed. The garage is too warm, although perfect for figs in containers.
So the lost plants were experimental. trying to get low chill plants to grow here. I think i can do it, but I probably will not get fruit every year. All my NHB are fine, as a matter of fact they are loaded to the gills with berries. The best season ever. Cara’s Choice is a small NHB type, although it has everything in it (RE, SHB, Wild). Wow, first year of berries. By far the best berry for me. Toro is close, then Liberty and Chandler. So many others I didn’t try it really tells us little. Cara’s worth growing especially in containers as the fruit is top rate, and it is a small plant. If you’re looking at the brazzleberries for ornamental appeal in a small blueberry plant, you might want to opt for Cara’s Choice instead. Blue-green thick leaves, a beautiful plant that makes top shelf fruit. I can’t speak for fruit quality of the brazzleberries, but first reports I have seen say OK, not great. Cara’s Choice is a fantastic cultivar and the breeder’s favorite (the breeder bred, or helped release Sweetheart, Raz, Pink Lemonade, Hanna’s Choice, and Legacy).

SCShermn, the OP, is most likely in my growing area, since he’s the same cold hardiness zone, 8a, and the User Name starts with SC. :wink: With those two clues, I think he’s likely to be between mid-state and the GA line. We didn’t have any late spring deep freezes here. We did have an extremely wet autumn after a summer drought, some chill weather in Nov., followed by a very warm Dec, with days in the 80’s. Roller coaster weather after that with some days hitting 80 and at least one night in Jan and Feb dropping to around 20. So far, our summer weather has been normal with days in the 90’s and low 100’s, little rain, and high UV indices. My trees had issues going into and coming out of dormancy. If SCShermn is located in the area that I’m guessing he is, then his weather has probably been somewhat similar. I don’t know if it has any bearing on the issue, but cicada are also active here this year. We also have a few varieties of ambrosia beetles, but they usually go after already weak wood.

Given that scenario and the rapidity of decline, what do you guys think is the most likely cause?

Well that is a huge problem, or can be!

I would try and eliminate possible problems. Canker, weather damage, borers.
A photo without the guard would be useful. Also a photo of exactly where the sap is running out of. I can see a little in the one photo. better if lower and to the right. It looks like a see a canker, and I see some swelling there, or could be swelling? hard to tell? Borers can cause that on brambles, not sure on trees? I would check hole for borers. Many times a borer leaves an opening for canker.

Because I don’t have experience there I can only guess, but I won’t try, except to say it could be from vastly fluctuating temps and I have to suppose it could be canker. In such a situation here I would bite the bullet and spend $30 to have the Cornell pathologist try to incubate something off the bark for diagnosis.

that tree can have canker, borers, excess moisture (phitofora) or headstrong worm from the distacia is difficult to know exactly what your problem as many missing data (frequency of watering, you must remove the sap and see if there are holes , we must find the roots and look echos worm holes and so we can rule out things).

Those took out two of my mature trees