Common Plum Tree Pests And Diseases And How To Control Them

Hi, I’m Monty Don and today we’ll be discussing some of the common pests and diseases that can affect plum trees. As any keen gardener knows, there’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your beloved plants affected by unwelcome parasites or disease. But don’t worry – with a bit of knowledge about what to look out for and how to control it, you can keep your plum tree healthy! In this article I’ll explain exactly what types of pests and diseases you may encounter and how best to manage them. So let’s get started!


Aphids are a common pest that plague plum trees. These tiny sap-sucking insects can cause serious damage to the foliage, flowers and fruits of these trees. At first glance they may seem harmless but if left unchecked, aphid numbers can quickly spiral out of control leading to significant losses in yield.

Controlling an aphid infestation is key for keeping your plum tree healthy and productive. The primary method of predator control is by introducing natural enemies like ladybugs or lacewings which feed on them. Other chemical treatments such as insecticidal soaps or neem oil sprays can also be used to tackle severe outbreaks.

When it comes to preventing problems with aphids, there’s no one-size-fits all solution: regular monitoring of the tree is essential along with taking prompt action when needed. A combination of both manual and chemical interventions will go a long way towards ensuring success in managing this pesky pest!

Plum Moth Caterpillars

The Plum Moth Caterpillar, or Cydia funebrana, is a major pest of plum trees in the UK. Its larvae can do significant damage to ripening fruits and foliage between late May and August each year. It’s important to take steps to control this caterpillar before it causes too much destruction.

Fortunately, there are natural remedies that you can use to help reduce its impact on your plums. The most effective way of controlling these caterpillars is hand-picking them off the tree when they appear. You should also try setting up physical barriers around the trunk using sticky tape as this will trap any emerging moths trying to lay eggs on the tree’s bark. Finally, encouraging beneficial insects like ladybirds and lacewings into your garden by providing food sources such as nectar rich flowers can help keep populations under control.

Investing time in taking preventative measures against Plum Moth Larvae now means you’ll be able to enjoy healthy fruit later in summer – without having to resort to harsh chemical treatments!

Plum Curculio

Hello everyone, let’s talk about the Plum Curculio. These pesky little pests can cause a lot of damage to plum trees. I’m going to tell you about their life cycle, the damage they cause, and how to control them. First, the adult Curculio lays its eggs in the developing fruits. The larvae then hatch and feed on the fruit, causing it to become disfigured and sometimes drop prematurely. They can really do a number on your trees if you don’t take steps to control them. Fortunately, you can use synthetic insecticides, which are available at most garden centers, to prevent the Curculio from attacking your fruit. I also recommend removing and destroying any damaged fruit to help prevent further infestation. So, with a few simple steps, you can keep your plum trees healthy and free from Plum Curculio.

Life Cycle

The life cycle of the pesky Plum Curculio is an ongoing battle for many orchard owners. It’s one thing to have a problem with these pests, but it’s another entirely when you don’t know how they survive and reproduce in your environment. Here’s what I’ve learned about their life cycle and some strategies you can use to manage them.

Environmental factors like temperature, humidity and rainfall all play into the success of the Plum Curculio when it comes to overwintering. These little critters can withstand cold temperatures by burying themselves deep in soil, leaf litter, mulch or even beneath tree bark. They often lay eggs as soon as conditions are favorable in late spring or early summer which then hatch into larvae that look for food sources such as developing fruits on trees. Once they reach adulthood, they fly away from their host plants looking for new places to feed and lay eggs so the cycle continues anew!

By understanding its habits and needs, we can work together towards creating an environment that minimizes potential damage from this pest. Taking preventative measures like removing debris around plum trees where adults might hide during winter months will make a difference over time – not just for us humans but also our beloved fruit-bearing friends!


As we know, the Plum Curculio is a pesky pest that can cause significant damage to orchards. It’s important to understand how it affects our trees and what we can do to help keep them healthy and productive. Fungal damage caused by these critters can set in quickly if not addressed properly – as well as soil compaction when they burrow themselves underground for protection from cold temperatures. This can have a negative effect on root health which in turn causes issues with fruit production. If left unchecked, this could mean fewer plums come harvest time!

It’s up to us then, to take action against this potential destruction and make sure all of our hard work doesn’t go down the drain. Regularly monitoring your plum trees for any signs of curculios activity should be part of your seasonal routine, so you don’t miss those early warning signs that something might be amiss. Taking preventative measures like pruning away infected branches or applying organic pesticides will also give you an extra layer of protection against these pests.

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Overall, taking care of our precious resources requires dedication but it’s worth it in the end – both for ourselves and Mother Nature! With just a few simple steps, we can ensure our orchards thrive and provide us with beautiful produce year after year.


It’s clear that controlling Plum Curculio is a key factor in keeping our orchards healthy and productive. Fortunately, there are several different ways to do this depending on your own preferences and circumstances. Chemical control is one option for those who want a more hands-off approach, while organic control methods may be better suited if you’re looking to keep things natural. Regardless of which route you choose, it’s important to take action as soon as possible before the damage becomes too severe.

For chemical control, using an insecticidal soap spray every two weeks after bloom can help reduce the population of curculios by killing eggs and larvae. You should also look into systemic pesticides like imidacloprid since these have been proven effective against plum curculio infestations. However, make sure you read up on any potential risks associated with these products before use – safety first!

On the other hand, there are plenty of organic options available for curculio control too. These include trapping them at night with sticky traps baited with flour or molasses; covering trees with white row cover fabric from early spring to late summer; and removing any fallen plums immediately so they don’t attract more pests. All of these strategies will go a long way in helping preserve our precious resources and ensuring we reap the rewards come harvest time – something we can all enjoy together!

Bacterial Canker

The reality of dealing with bacterial canker is never a pleasant one. It’s an unfortunate consequence of having plum trees and it can bring about devastating effects if left unchecked. There are two primary types; root blight and fire blight, that you’ll want to be especially mindful of as they both have the potential to cause severe damage.

Root blight in particular has been found to be particularly virulent when it comes to affecting plums. The fungus attacks the roots, producing lesions on them which then weaken the tree. This means your plums won’t get enough nutrients and water, leading to stunted growth or even death in extreme cases. To prevent this from happening, you should ensure that your soil has proper drainage and aeration so it doesn’t become overly saturated at any point. Additionally, applying fungicides regularly will help reduce the risk of infection significantly.

Fire blight is another common problem for plum trees, although less serious than root blight. It causes infected branches or twigs to wilt and die off due to a bacteria entering through wounds or natural openings in the bark. Controlling its spread can be done by pruning away any affected areas before disposing of them properly – preferably somewhere far away from other plants! A good way to avoid getting into this situation altogether would be to make sure your tree is not stressed out too much since this increases its susceptibility quite drastically.

Brown Rot

Moving swiftly on from bacterial canker, let’s talk about brown rot. This fungal disease is a common problem for plum trees, and it affects the fruit as well as twigs or branches that may have been weakened by other diseases.

The biggest tell-tale sign of this infection are the dark sunken spots that appear on the fruits; what starts off small quickly spreads over larger areas and causes the fruit to mummify. To make matters worse, the fungus also produces spores which spread around your garden quite easily in humid conditions – so prevention is key!

To tackle existing cases of brown rot, chemical control with fungicides is required – but we’d suggest taking a preventative approach whenever possible with cultural controls like pruning away infected parts of plants before they become too bad and removing fallen leaves regularly to reduce humidity levels. A few other things you could do to minimize risk include:

  • Fertilizing

  • Use organic fertilizers to promote plant health

  • Don’t use high nitrogen applications

  • Watering

  • Provide adequate water during dry periods

  • Avoid getting foliage wet when watering * Water in the early morning when humidity levels are lower

Verticillium Wilt

The blight of Verticillium wilt is a devastating affliction for plum trees. It’s like an invisible enemy that can take hold without warning and spread through the tree’s vascular system, causing its leaves to droop and turn yellow in a process known as leaf scorch. Before you know it, your beloved plum tree could be wilting away before your eyes! Root rot is also common with this disease, which weakens and kills the roots below ground level.

It’s important to act quickly if you spot any signs of Verticillium wilt on your tree; pruning affected branches and removing dead wood helps reduce its transmission throughout the entire canopy. You should also look out for soil-borne fungi such as Fusarium spp., which encourages root rot when combined with other environmental factors. If these are found in high concentrations around the base of the tree, they should be treated with appropriate fungicides or composted material.

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Fortunately, there are steps we can all take to protect our trees from this dreaded fungal infection – starting with keeping them healthy with regular watering and fertilization. And monitoring for early signs of infestation so that swift action can be taken before it spreads too far will help keep your treasured fruit-bearing companion alive for many more years to come!

Powdery Mildew

"Powdery mildew is a common fungal infection that affects many types of plants, including plum trees. It’s identifiable by the white, powdery spots that form on leaves and branches. It’s caused by high humidity and temperatures, making it difficult to control. To prevent it from spreading, I’d recommend pruning affected branches and leaves as soon as you spot it. If it’s already badly infected, spraying with a fungicide should help. Regularly checking your plum tree for signs of the disease and keeping it well-watered can help you to prevent and control powdery mildew."


Powdery mildew is one of the most common plum tree pests and diseases. As a gardener, you know it’s important to identify symptoms early on so that you can take action against this fungal disease quickly. The first thing you’ll notice is small white patches appearing on leaves or stems; these are often mistaken for frost damage due to their powdery appearance. Over time, the spots will grow larger, covering large parts of your plant with an unsightly grey-white coating. If left untreated, infected plants may show signs of stunted growth and can even die off completely if the infection spreads too far. To prevent powdery mildew from affecting your plums trees in the future, be sure to practice good garden hygiene like removing fallen leaves and avoiding overcrowding around plants. Also, it’s essential to water only at the base of the plant rather than spraying foliage as this can create moist conditions which are ideal for fungus development. With a few simple steps taken now, you can ensure that all your beloved fruit trees remain healthy and productive long into the future!


Now that we know what this insidious disease looks like, let’s take a look at the causes of powdery mildew. Poor nutrition and environmental stress are two major contributing factors to this fungal infection. If your plum trees aren’t getting enough nutrients or if they’re facing extreme weather conditions such as heat, cold or humidity, then it will become much more vulnerable to attack from pests and diseases like powdery mildew. Unhealthy plants don’t have strong immune systems which means they won’t be able to fight back against any kind of fungus. As gardeners, it’s our responsibility to make sure our plants get all the nourishment they need in order to stay healthy and resistant to common plant ailments.

Another cause of powdery mildew is overcrowding around plants; when too many closely-related species are planted together in one area, there can be an increased risk of disease transmission due to them sharing water and soil resources. The spores of this particular type of fungus spread quickly between multiple hosts so it’s important to keep your fruit trees well spaced out from each other if you want to prevent potential infestations. Additionally, try not to use overhead watering methods for your plums as moisture on their leaves can also encourage the growth of fungi.

By following these simple steps, you’ll be giving your beloved plum trees the best chance for success! With regular care and attention paid towards both its nutritional needs and overall wellbeing, you can ensure that your prized fruits remain safe from harm throughout the season – no matter how severe the weather may be!


Now that we’ve looked at the causes of powdery mildew, it’s time to consider how best to treat it. If you want to keep your plum trees in tip-top condition, then you need to act quickly and decisively when an infestation does occur. Biological control is one option – this involves introducing beneficial insects or bacteria into the environment which can help reduce the amount of fungus spreading around your garden. Alternatively, various cultural practices such as pruning dead branches or removing any infected fruits can also be a great way of preventing further spread of disease throughout your plants.

A good preventative measure against powdery mildew is routinely spraying fungicides on affected areas; while this won’t eradicate the problem completely, it will help slow down its progress until more permanent measures are taken. The most important thing here though is not to panic! With patience and dedication there’s no reason why you can’t get through this outbreak with minimal damage done to your beloved fruit trees.

Ultimately, by taking a proactive approach towards treating powdery mildew, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance for success! Keep up regular maintenance and checkups on all your plantings so that if anything should happen during the season, you know exactly what steps to take next. That way you can rest assured knowing that your prized plums are always in safe hands!

Rust Diseases

Rust diseases can be a real problem for plum trees, and it’s important to take steps to control them. The most common rust diseases are black spot, shot-hole disease, scab and powdery mildew. These all cause damage to the leaves of the tree by discoloring or disfiguring them and eventually leading to leaf drop if left untreated.

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The key to controlling these fungal infections is preventive spraying with fungicides such as chlorothalonil, sulfur or copper-based products. Regular monitoring of your plum tree will help you detect any signs of infection early so that treatment can begin quickly before serious damage occurs. Additionally, removing fallen leaves from around the tree will reduce outbreaks in later seasons as they act as carriers of fungus spores.

Insects can also contribute to rust diseases on plums – aphids, scale insects and mites are commonly found on infected plants. Keeping an eye out for insect activity and applying insecticides when necessary is essential for managing pest populations that may carry fungi spores which could lead to further infection in the future. By following these simple steps you can protect your treasured plum tree against rust diseases and keep its foliage looking healthy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Prevent Plum Tree Pests And Diseases?

The best way to prevent plum tree pests and diseases is to stay one step ahead! Identification of the pest or disease early on is key, as this will allow you to take action quickly. Natural remedies are often a good first line of defence – such as introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs that prey upon many common pests. Taking regular walks around your trees can also help identify any signs of trouble before it becomes too serious. As long as you keep an eye out for any potential issues, you’ll be able to protect your beloved plum trees from harm.

Are There Any Organic Solutions For Treating Plum Tree Pests And Diseases?

Yes, there are organic solutions for treating plum tree pests and diseases! Integrated pest management (IPM) is a strategy that combines biological, cultural, physical, and chemical methods to control pests. Cultural practices such as pruning, thinning out fruit clusters, mulching the soil properly and irrigating regularly can help reduce many of the problems associated with common plums tree pests and disease. IPM is an effective way to manage pest populations without using harsh chemicals or pesticides. It’s also great for our environment – so you don’t have worry about harming bees or other beneficial insects while keeping your trees healthy and productive.

How Often Should I Inspect My Plum Trees For Pests And Diseases?

When it comes to inspecting your plum trees for pests and diseases, the best thing you can do is keep a close watch on them. Check regularly throughout the growing season so that any problems are caught early – this will make it easier to take natural remedies or adjust for changing weather patterns if needed. Make sure to examine both the leaves and fruit of your tree carefully at least once a month, as well as after periods of heavy rain or extreme heat when disease-causing organisms might be more likely to thrive. If you’re ever unsure about what’s going on with your plum tree, don’t hesitate to consult an experienced arborist before taking action.

What Is The Most Common Pest Or Disease That Affects Plum Trees?

Welcome gardeners! Plum trees are so beautiful and delicious – I know you all love them as much as I do. Unfortunately, they can be prone to pests and diseases that can really hurt their health. The one most likely to affect your plums is spotted wing drosophila, a tiny fly that lays its eggs inside the fruit. Another common issue is bacterial blight which causes dark spots on the leaves and twigs of your tree. Fortunately, these two can usually be treated with insecticides or fungicides if caught early enough. To ensure your plum trees stay happy and healthy, make sure to inspect them regularly for any signs of damage!

Can I Use A Fungicide To Treat Plum Tree Diseases?

When it comes to keeping your plum tree healthy, taking preventative measures is key! Fungicides can be an effective treatment for certain diseases that plague these fruit trees. However, you’ll have to do some detective work and figure out what’s causing any damage before reaching for a fungicide. Common culprits include fruit rot caused by fungi such as Botryosphaeria and scale insects which are quite the pesky little critters. To keep the bad bugs away, make sure you prune regularly and use insecticidal soap or horticultural oils if needed – this way you won’t be stuck between a rock and a hard place!


It’s essential to pay close attention to your plum trees and inspect them regularly for signs of pests or disease. Taking preventative measures such as fertilising, mulching and pruning can reduce the risk of infection, but it is also important to take action if an infestation does occur. There are a range of organic solutions available which I would recommend trying first before turning to chemical treatments. It is worth investing time in getting to know your trees, so you can identify potential threats early on and act quickly – this way, we can all help protect our precious fruit trees from harm.