Purple Plum Maintenance

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Miss You Son, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. Miss You Son

    Miss You Son LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I recently had a purple plum tree planted. This tree was put in as a memorial tree to my Son and Lawn Mowing partner who passed away a short while ago.
    Needless to say this tree means a lot to me.

    I have been told you have to becareful with a purple plum due to some type of insect (unknown). This is not a fruit tree but a tree with the dark red leaves. Can anyone advise what I should do to make sure this tree survives.

    Thank You
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Are you talking about a Thundercloud Purple Leaf Plum?

    Scales sometimes appear on plum trees.... little bugs that feed on the tree's sap.

    Treatment for scales is usually best accomplished in the dormant season....treat the tree with an oil spray.

    Ants are natural predators of scales and really good at it.Lady bugs and wasps are too.

    You can also literally swipe the scales off with your hand ..use a glove or you hand will be stained purple from the sap...keep the tree pruned to let in more sunlight and air. Scales don't like that.

    Best of luck with your tree.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    If I am correct, I believe the purple plum leaf has a relatively short life span (10-15 yrs) regardless.
  4. 6'7 330

    6'7 330 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,821

    During dry spells keep the tree irrigated.Most Purple plums wont see 20 years before they are attacked and overcome by various fungal diseases such as cankers, twig blights or root decay that produce die-back and lack of vigor. Also, these trees require fairly regular thinning to reduce chances of splitting from thick canopies and to remove sucker growth and water sprouts.They also die from borer damage, are repeatedly defoliated from Japanese Beetles and are major magnets for weevils, mites.
  5. Rollacosta

    Rollacosta LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    If kept well watered during dry spells, and the tree is 'NOT' pruned it will live for a lot longer than 20 years.

    Prunus [purple plum included] trees hate to be pruned,pruning encourages fungal problems such as silver leaf,I would recommend you mulch your tree to a depth of no more than 3'' and as far under the trees canopy's as possible

    Most importantly DO NOT PRUNE or FERTILIZE
  6. Miss You Son

    Miss You Son LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I want to thank all of you who responded as to maintining my Son's memorial tree. It is greatly appreciated. He is so missed

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