falling sprouts

falling sprouts

Our wild plum tree of about 3m has grown new shoots & leaves on only 3 of about 7 branches & every day we find the new little branches of about 30cm have dropped off
The highest branches have no new leaves & still carry old brown leaves at the ends
Please advise how should I treat the tree?

Comments for Jane

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Oct 26, 2020
OH dear, a tree in dire straits
by: Caroline

Dear Jane

I commiserate at the illness of your tree ! Thank you for submitting a question about it.

This Harpephyllum caffrum or wild plum is normally such a tough species. It is a very good idea to plant indigenous trees for this reaso. Something strange may be afoot. Check out this solid article on shothole borer and other exotic trees diseases and see if it has any of the symptoms : http://saforestryonline.co.za/articles/new-pest-and-disease-threats-discovered-in-sa/. Unfortunately, I cannot glean enough information from your description to make a diagnosis, because tree diseases are not my field of focus, so you may have to do some of your own research. I googled diseases of Harpephyllum caffrum to find the article about fungus and shot borer. My mother was a forester. She would just inject the tree with poisons in the region of the tunnels to kill the borer beetle. If it is such a dangerous infectious diseases you may have to sacrifice the tree, and burn it, in order not to endanger your other trees. Act quickly, I'd say.

I know more about how to heal sick gardens. To combat the spread of disease like fungus and bacterial disease in the garden one needs to create pathogen resistant soil. This resilience depends on diversity of planting and a strong, highly diverse soil microbiome, like s strong human gut microbiome wards of human disease. To achieve this you need total plant cover. Naked soil is dead soil. Plants growing in dead soil are more prone to illness. If you follow my blog you can explore this idea further at https://www.greenidiom.com/regenerative-gardening-blog.html. Good luck !

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