Why your plum tree drops fruit prematurely?

Plum trees

Do you have plum trees in your garden? In Eastern Europe almost everyone has plum trees but not because they cannot do without jams or cakes… Plum brandy is the reason. But plum trees tend to be susceptible to various diseases or whims. There are years when plum trees cannot bear the weight of all the fruit and they are years where the yield is shockingly low. The most common problem in any year is however, that still unripe plums fall to the ground, apparently for no reason. Why is that so? Well, there are several reasons.

Hoplocampa testudineaas a crop destroyer

The most common pest that destroys plums is called the sawfly.It lays eggs in tiny fruits -right after flowering, and later caterpillars hatch inside green plums and bite the unripe fruit, which will fall off – usually within 14 days.A plum bitten by sawfly that has fallen to the ground is still green and has a black dot on its skin. After peeling you can find the caterpillar inside. You can use sprays such as Mospilan, CALYPSO 480 SC and others against sawfly and you should do so after flowering.

Plum treesPhoto: Radek Štěpán

Poor pollination

In some cases, poor pollination may also be responsible. You can tell that you are dealing with an incomplete pollination if plums fallen from the tree are partially “ripe” or coloured. Perhaps there are not enough fruit trees around and bees are not attracted to this area Still, the majority of common plum trees should be self-pollinating…

Plum pox virus

A big threat is plum pox virus. This disease also causes fruit falling, but you can usually recognize the disease by deformed leaves and fruits.

Plum treesPhoto: Radek Štěpán

Other possible causes

Trees may also suffer from insufficient watering. Unfortunately, dry weather is very common this year. Well, to avoid drying pour 2 buckets of water to the tree roots every day – unless there is a sufficient amount of rain of course.And finally, wasps can also be the culprit. They sting plums to get the sweet juice, and the fruit will fall off eventually. Plum fruit moth is yet another culprit and you should deal with it in the same manner as with sawfly.

Preview photo: Radek Štěpán

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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