"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Curly leaf

I have googled curly leaf, lumpy leaf, and a couple of other phrases to try and find out what is afflicting my plum trees, but cannot reach any conclusion.

This is what some of the leaves look like:
And a close up:
Curly leaves, leaves with bumps - what is wrong
with our plum trees?
If you do know what it is, and how I treat it (in an eco-friendly way) I would be very grateful.

In the meantime I have been painstakingly snipping of each of the odd-looking leaves and tossing them in the trash.  I'm just concerned that when the tree gets larger I won' be able to reach the affected leaves, so woul like to try and sort it out now.

It doesn't seem to be affecting the fruit - the branches are happily full and growing well.

12 comments:

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/lancashire/content/articles/2008/01/08/damsons_feature.shtml
    Your Damson Tree Dave could be suffering from the plum leaf curling aphid which causes the leaves to become tightly curled, crumpled and distorted and on the underside of the leaves you will find pale yellow-green insects. The aphids suck the sap from the leaves and this causes the leaves to become distorted and during the early summer months the winged adults move on to alternative host plants but return to the Damsons during the autumn period to lay overwintering eggs at the base of the branches. There are no insecticides on the market which the amateur garden can use to control the aphids but, during the winter months a tar oil winter wash will reduce the overwintering eggs.

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    Replies
    1. RD - The problem is I CANNOT find any insects at all - on any of the leaves. Not even with a magnifying glass LOL

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  2. http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/plum/control-leaf-curl-plum-aphids.htm

    Leaf Curl Plum Aphid Treatments

    You can apply cultural methods to control leaf curl plum aphids. Use quick hard blasts of water to rinse off the insects. Limit nitrogen fertilizers, which force the formation of tip growth, one of the insect’s favorite plant parts.

    There are also several biological treatments in the form of natural predators. Lady beetles, green lacewings and syrphid fly larvae are another way to control plum aphids.

    If necessary, use dormant season chemical treatments of horticultural oil. Severe aphid infestations require growing season applications of a leaf curl plum aphid treatment such as neem oil, imidacloprid, pyrethrins or non-toxic insecticidal soap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RD - I will invest in come (very expensive) neem oil - always good to have in stock I guess.

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  3. Replies
    1. Diana - I reckon it is more psyllium than aphid, although I cannot see the white bloom that is supposed to cover the leaves. But, to be safe, I'll treat for both.

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  4. I agree it looks like aphids. We had it on our apple trees at a previous house. the neighbour stripped the tree of the leaves for us. I am trying to remember if this was to stop the spread or if it was something else. but he worked in cider press company before he retired so we let him do it.

    http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/insect/05511.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sol - As I mentioned above, I cannot ind any trace of aphids on any of the leaves. Merely the curl / bump / lump.

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  5. When I saw the title of your post I thought you were growing tobacco.

    I'm no help with this question. Wish I knew more about horticulture , but I'm clueless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Harry - Curly leaf = tabacco?? Kale springs to mind more than tobacco LOL

      No, we do not have a tobacco growing climate here in the southernmost part of South africa. I think tobacco is grown in Zimbabwe.

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  6. I'm going to third the aphids. Since the damage occurs at bud break, and you mentioned that it hasn't affected the fruiting, it sounds like they have already moved on, which is why you can't find them. Is there any sticky honeydew on the underside of the leaves? Sooty fungus? Both are hallmarks of aphid infestation.

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    Replies
    1. Danielle - welcome - and thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :)

      I have examined the leaves with a magnifying glass, and there is no trace of aphids - no sticky residue, definitely no black sooty fungus - nada!! It seems as though as the leaves appear - even the new teeny-tiny leaves still appearing - some of them show signs of lumpy bumps, and others are fine...

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