Can my flowering plum tree be saved?


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Old 06-23-05, 04:47 AM
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Can my flowering plum tree be saved?

Several weeks ago I noticed the leaves on my purple flowering plum tree were thinning, and some had holes in them as if eaten by some insect. I also found lots of "brown bumps" on the limbs that scraped off easily with my fingernail or a broom. After researching my problem on the web, I think I've determined that "scales" have invaded my tree. I'm pretty sure it's not Japanese beetles (I see none, plus I have yearly applications of Grubex applied on the lawn). I see no other visible insects. Last week I sprayed the tree with a systemic insect killer and brushed off as many "bumps" as my broom could reach. Since then, more leaves on the tree seem to be dying. My questions are these: The directions on the systemic insect killer container said "do not apply to flowering crabapple". Would this have included my flowering plum? And, if so, did I do more damage than good by spraying the tree? Should I do a second application 7-10 days later as suggested in the directions (to kill scales)? Is there some other product I should apply to get rid of these scales and not harm the tree? Will my plum tree recover if I ever do get rid of these pests, or should I consider it a "goner"? Is my analysis of the problem totally off-base?
 
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Old 06-23-05, 08:58 PM
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Scale insects are usually treated with an oil spray like Volck with an insecticide mixed in. Trees are treated while dormant. Insects emerge in from eggs in April. The tree must be thoroughly coated. Because scale insects can hide in cracks and crevices, it may take several years to eliminate the scale, but annual spraying should continue.

http://insects.tamu.edu/extension/pu...siopaplum.html

Systemic insecticides travel through the system to all parts of the plant tissue (including the fruit), and when the offending insect chews on the plant he ingests the insecticide and is killed. Some plants, such as fruit trees, are very sensitive to certain systemic insecticides.
 
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Old 06-24-05, 07:01 AM
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What to do now?

Thanks for the rapid response and the link to the informative article! My new question is this: Since the dormant season has passed (i.e. flowers are gone, leaves are out, and it's late June), should I skip the oil spray and go for just an insecticide as suggested in the article? (Your comments seem to suggest that I pass on the 2nd systemic application.) Thanks again for your help (this DIY site is GREAT!)
 
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Old 06-24-05, 10:05 AM
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The dormant oil sprays are used when tree is dormant. There are light summer oil sprays. One containing diazinon or carbaryl is often recommended for scale. Because not all chemicals are available in all areas, it's best to contact your local Dept. of Agriculture Extension Agent. The Agent may also be able to better advise regarding the effects of the systemic insecticide. Too, they can recommend a spraying schedule for flowerng plums in your area and what products to use.
 
 

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