Plum tree not leafing

Asked May 24, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT

Our plum tree that has been very productive has leaves only at the tips of the branches this year and not blossoms. Any suggestions?

Outside United States

1 Response

There are a few reasons why something like this might happen and it has hard to say for sure which is the cause in your case without some more information. Often when trees are slow to leaf out in the spring, it is due to some type of stress that the tree was under in winter or the previous summer. For example, in North Carolina we had several consecutive days during February where the temperature was much colder than we usually experience. Most plants were not affected by this, but fig trees, which are not as hardy as many other trees in our area, have been slow to leaf out. It could be that your plum trees are recovering from a stress due to cold temperatures, drought, nutrient deficiency, or some other condition. Again, I would need to know more about your location, the age of the trees, the condition of your soil, and so forth to say which is the cause for sure. I'd recommend keeping the trees well watered over the next few weeks and, if you haven't already, give them some fertilizer (one that is high in Nitrogen if possible), and they may begin to recover.