Q. I have murdered my 5 year old Santa Rosa plum. The borers have finished it. I treated the tree for iron twice earlier in the spring, and It never seemed to help, I now see why. They are in every branch, and looks like the main trunk. I had white washed as you suggested, but I should have reapplied every year, since it faded some, and of course the tree grew. I have learned a valuable lesson, and I feel terrible for the loss of my tree. Thank god, I had a bumper crop last year, hopefully I have enough jam to hold me a few years until a new tree takes shape. Thank you so much for years of tips and tricks for our garden.
|Santa Rosa plum ripe|
A. So many borers as you stated is an indicator that perhaps the branches were getting overly heated and burned by the sun. Always keep a full canopy to shade the limbs and trunk. Pruning fruit trees in the desert is an art. It is finding a fine balance between removing enough and removing too much wood from a tree.
|Sap oozing from cut limb on plum. Sap oozes freely from damaged limbs on plum. This is a defense mechanism and when working properly drowns any infesting insect with sap.|
Never prune so much that it opens up the canopy for sunburn to the limbs. Mulch the soil which helps keep a full canopy and dig out borers as you see them causing sap oozing from the trunk or have limb dieback. I will do this in the winter time when all the leaves are gone and it is easy to find damaged limbs.