Plum Tree blight or something else?

I’ve noticed on my plum tree this year several areas where small groups of leaves are dying on the tree. At first I thought it might be frost damage, but I don’t think we’ve head any freezes recently. And it seems to occur in areas that would be protected from frost.

Could this be some sort of blight or bacterial infection? Or insect damage? Any advice is welcome. The tree is a satsuma plum with Santa Rosa, Flavor King, and Flavor Supreme grafted on. The tree otherwise seems healthy.


I’m sorry to see that. I agree some of those locations on the interior could not have been from freezing temperatures because more of the tree would have been affected. It appears to have occurred at branch tips, but many others appear healthy. Crown rot can look like that but it is too early in the year for symptoms. Is it occuring on different cultivars? Could there have been insect infestations in those locations?


The blighted foliage is similar to what my sweet cherry leaves would appear like with blisters before I top worked the trees to convert to plum. At that time I would see some amber colored gumosis exuding from the trunk. You might want to examine your branches for any excretions that could signify a borer is involved.
Good luck
Kent, wa


@Stan - what is your perspective?

@Richard and @DennisD I have not noticed this symptom in the apricot, peach, or apple trees nearby. I do have problems with flatheaded borers. Usually I see damage at the base of the tree and sometimes in higher branches. Never on so many young shoots (thus far).

Another thought came to mind. Could it be potential damage from spraying Liquicop on apple trees in the vicinity? I sprayed the apples while they were dormant, but it’s possible some wind blew the spray on the plum tree.

I will have to take a closer look to see if I can find borer evidence. I did not see any sap oozing from the tree anywhere.


I doubt it is from Liqui-Cop, I sprayed it on various Prunus for years.

So about the borers: there are twig borers, quite small.

Ha, like if a borer and a leaf miner had an evil baby. Sorry, all joking aside I hope you figure it out @armeniangreg.


Haha, seriously. Yeah I really hope it will be ok. This tree has been my most reliable producer and it has some of my favorite plums. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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I’m leaning towards disease. Have a look here:

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To me it looks like brown rot. Although I did not notice any damage to blossoms and the fruit all look fine at the moment.

Also, we had 50 inches of rain this year. The average is somewhere around 24, and last year we had 12. My soil is not very well draining either.