Plum Tree leaf spot question

Asked March 28, 2017, 10:58 AM EDT

Hi, We live in Catonsville and have a three year old plum tree in our yard, not sure of the variety, that has gotten brown spots on it's leaves that eventually kill the leaves and they fall off the past two years. We think it's bacterial leaf spot from an internet search last year and want to prevent it this year. I was planning to spray it with a liquid copper fungicide, but just read today that it should be used before the tree blossoms because it's toxic to bees. I'm wondering if I can do anything to prevent the leaf spot without harming the bees and maybe get a plum or two this year, so far we've had none. We had the same thing happen on our new Lilac bush too, the leaves all fell off from a brown curling leaf, but it's starting to bloom now, so I'm wondering if I should spray that as well?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

No copper fungicide is recommended at this time as this would affect the foliage and cause leaf drop. We cannot say what you are dealing with based on your description of the plum foliage. We recommend that you send us photos of the browning foliage as soon as you notice the problem this season.

Lilac - We can not say for sure what you were dealing with. Maybe a root problem, borers, or a blight. Bacterial blight is most common in the spring when it is rainy. This usually comes in through the stomates in the veins. All you can do is prune infected branches, cutting well below the diseased tissue. Disinfect the pruning shears between cuts. No chemical control is recommended. You can send us photos as soon as you notice the problem.