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Saving a plum tree from black rot
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Crell
1 Posts
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May 31, 2021 - 11:38 am

Hi folks.  I have a plum tree that developed black knot a year or two ago.  (At least I think that's what it is.)  The advice I saw at the time was "cut out the infected areas, leave it be for a year to heal."  I did that, and this year the infection is back.  It's on some lower down branches, some very high branches that are hard to get to (it's an old tree), and a few growths on the larger trunk lines.

I fear if I just keep hacking bits off of it, I won't have much of a tree left (plus it's a few hours up a ladder trying to not fall off).  Is there a good way to get rid of it for good that will still leave me a tree, or is it time for a tree funeral?  (I hope the former.)

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jafar
453 Posts
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May 31, 2021 - 9:05 pm

Crell, welcome to the forum.  It's great to see first posts from new contributors.

Many of us are in the Pacific Northwest in an area where black knot isn't really a threat, so don't have much experience with it.  I'm a little familiar with it because I had a brief infection from some scion wood that was sent to me in the mail.

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/.....black_knot

From what I've read, see link above, if you aren't able to remove all of the visible knots, and stay on it, then it sounds like a lost cause.  You can use fungicides, but they will only help prevent new knots, it won't address the ones that are already there.

The suggestion is to plant a resistant variety.  If it were mine, before I got rid of the whole tree, I'd probably cut it at ankle height, and bark graft a resistant variety to the stump.  Or wait until early spring and cut it flush to the ground.  If its on a rootstock, it will send up suckers - which are hopefully knot resistant - and you can graft to those later with scions wood of resistant varieties.

Sorry I don't have better news.

jafar

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John S
985 Posts
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May 31, 2021 - 9:31 pm

Another method you can use in addition to the other techniques is to use fungal compost tea.

John S
PDX OR

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