purpleleaf cherry plum

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Smallaxe, May 20, 2007.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    If someone could give me an idea of pruning an ornamental plum that is getting overgrown and weak it would be appreciated. It has been in this landscape for 12 years or so and now is showing more trunk than color and the branches are breaking in the wind and/or snow. There is also some shrivelling of the leaves in different areas of the older branches.
    This is in central Wisconsin and it has just finished with the blossoms, under irrigation for the entire time with the fertilizer injections every spring at least. It looks to me as if it is just getting old and the new growth from the bottom is the futere for this plant. I don't know and haven't found an informational website regarding it. thanks, .rick.
     
  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    unfortunately this is not a long living tree. decline begins around 10 to 15 years.
     
  3. yardmanlee

    yardmanlee LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 898

    how bout a kousa dogwood Jodi ? Life span of one of these ?
    has a customer w/ one about 15 yrs old and the bark at the base is pealing pretty bad, looks like its almost being eatin or chewed on
     
  4. Plant Buyer 83

    Plant Buyer 83 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 176

    Yardman

    Kousa Dogwoods naturally have peeling bark it one of there ornamental features. Although I'm not exactly sure what you are describing but, it may be insect or other damage but do some research to make sure its not a natural part of the tree.
     
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Plant Buyer is correct.
    Kousa Dogwoods have naturally beautiful exfoliating bark. I bet that is what you are seeing.
     
  6. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Smallaxe, the best pruning cut on a purple leaf plum is with a chainsaw at the base. As Jodi said, they are short lived trees that rarely make it past 15 years old before they split apart. I'm sure your client loves the purple leaves, but that is the price you pay for high fashion.

    Kirk
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    That is what I was afraid of. Thanks for the info. Now to prepare the client for the inevitable.
     
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Better to plant the right plant in the right place and they may understand.

    Clean it up and plant something to take it's place. As the new plant grows in, the plum can be removed and none will be the wiser.

    Kirk
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,082

    Good advice - that is probably what I will do. I must include several other high bushes, that I have yet to identify, which are probably in the same boat. Perhaps a dozen plants that make up her final back drop of the landscape framing the house are on the way out. Its a big hill with a big house on top. At least there is advance notice and she will thank me for that. Thanks guys. .rick.
     

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