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Pocket Plum



P_pocketplum

Pocket Plum

Usually appear in

Spring to Autumn.


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Caused By:-     The fungus Taphrina pruni

Description

Plum pocket also called bladder Plum gall, is caused by the fungus Taphrina pruni, which is related to the Peach Leaf Curl fungus, that affects apricot and black cherry, plums, damsons and some ornamental species, causing the fruits to develop abnormally and without stones.
As fruits grow they are long, twisted, and banana shaped, the fruits do not swell or ripen and are worthless to eat. On inspection, they contain no stone or seed, they are hollow pockets with a pale green colour. Later spores develop on the fruit surface and it begins to shrivel.
This fungus can play havoc with a plum crop, but it may not affect the tree again for several years.
The fungus spends the winter in infected shoots and old fruits and is spread to new leaves by spores borne on air currents and in splashes from rain.
Cool, rainy weather promotes the germination of spores and with warm and dry weather infection rarely takes place.
The fungus is also believe to cause cause witches’ brooms on the tree, but this may be caused by a similar fungus T. insititia, which may be another form of T. pruni.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.
See also WITCHES BROOM POPLAR YELLOW LEAF BLISTER.


Control

Remove infected branches, witches’ brooms and fruit before spores are produced and destroy.
Since spores are airborne, if other prunus species are nearby spraying with a fungicide may be necessary, before bud break and again after flowering.
A winter tar oil wash may help in controlling this disease.



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