Yellowing drooping leaves in Prunus Maakii

Asked June 25, 2020, 3:42 PM EDT

We have two Prunus Maakii trees, both planted 10 years ago. One of them has severely yellowing and drooping leaves. I think it might be vertmiculum wilt (I don’t think I got the spelling quite right!). Do you think this might be the case? Is there any treatment for this? If not, should we remove the infected tree to try to prevent spread to the other tree which is currently looking very healthy. Thanks very much Liz Kinney

Hennepin County Minnesota

5 Responses

There are a number of reasons leaves turn yellow. The easiest way to tell if it is verticillium wilt is to check under the bark. The following websites give more information. 1. http://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/deciduous/prunus/leavesdiscolored.html 2. https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/verticillium-wilt-of-trees-and-shrubs/

Good morning, Thanks for those links to the photographs, and I did check and yes indeed we do have vermiticulum wilt. Now I am wondering what I should do! We have an identical tree about 25 or 30 feet away. I am really worried that it will get the same disease. Is there anything we can do to prevent this? The healthy tree is providing crucial shade for our patio and I would be so sad to lose it. Should we cut down the diseased tree? Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, Liz

There is no effective treatment for this disease. It can live in the soil for years. Planting resistant trees is the only long term solution. The fungus lives in the soil, it is not wind born. It is not necessary to remove the tree. It may be able to heal over the infection. As to the other healthy tree, take care not to injure it to prevent the fungus from getting a toe hold. Use mulch to prevent lawnmower or other root injury. Watering and fertilizing are important. The following article gives a good understanding of the disease: https://www.extension.iastate.edu/news/2005/jun/071602.htm

Thank you so much for your advice. It was really helpful and encouraging that our healthy tree might not be doomed... so long as we care for it. We really appreciate this service that the university provides!