Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh my ailing plum.

First things first. My friend Heather called this evening. On top of healing from a ruptured appendix and the beginning of an abscess, Ryan now has C. Diff. He is in his early 30's and is just so ill. Please consider praying for him.

Hubs called me while I was on my way home from Heather's house. (She was overrun with sympathy food and needed me to take some off her hands.) "I don't want you to freak out when you get home, because I had to cut off a lot of the plum tree." (I told him he needed to check out the front tree because it has developed a sudden funk. He thought I was talking about the black knot that is already funkifying it, but this is something completely different.) He said that it has bug scale. It was literally killing branches, so Hubs wanted to remove as much of it as he could.

Y'all, my tree looks like crap. He says that it will fill out. I'm not so certain.

Our tree has been ailing for probably 4 years from just the black knot alone. This bug scale was not there last week. I was talking with the neighbor yesterday, went to straighten the bird house and I felt a mist coming down on me. I looked up and noticed that the leaves all appeared wet. I felt them. They were sticky. That is no wetness. I went to the front of the tree and it was dry and unharmed. I started to really look at the branches and they looked overrun by some mutant lichen. Sadly, bug scale is not lichen.

Our plum tree has taken to being infested with Japanese beetles every summer now. The infestation is so bad that they swarm the tree when you hit it with water.

Before you ask, we garden largely (though not 100 % completely) organic. Just as with the Japanese Beetles, we won't hit the tree with poisons. Our kid plays in the yard. The neighbor's dog believes that our yard is her toilet. We eat things that come from our yard. If the plum survives it, we'll love her for it. If not, we'll be on the hunt for a disease resistant tree.

When we bought the plum, we purchased it primarily for its height. The purple was a striking color that caught our eye. We also knew that it would be a flowering tree. We didn't do any homework.

We should have.

The next tree we have our eye on is a Sweet Gum. We'll do more research, but an arborist has suggested it to me a few years ago because of the disease resistance. If I recall correctly, a slower growing tree is a more disease resistant tree.

So sad.

Smiles in my weekend:
- It was family birthday weekend. It was B-'s 3rd birthday party on Saturday and my nephew, L-'s, 1st birthday party today. K- had so much fun playing with all the kids!
- I was able to go to the nursery by myself to purchase plants with my Mother's Day gift certificate from Hubs and K-.
- I was able to plant three tomatoes, a green pepper, a red pepper, basil, onions and pineapple sage in our herb garden. I was also able to plant flowers in 3 planters. I have a bit more planting to go, but at least I put a good dent into it.
- Dinner from Heather. So kind of her to share.

Have a great day!


ChupieandJ'smama said...

We lost our Magnolia to scale this year (actually last year, but we tried everything to revive it to no avail). We called our landscaper and asked if he thought it was gone. He laughed at us. We now have a new one that we let him pick out and plant and guarantee.
My lilacs aren't doing well either and it breaks my heart because lilacs are my FAVORITE of all time. There is something on them too (grayish, greenish crust). I'm going to cut a branch and take it to the local nursery and see if they can tell me what it is. I didn't notice it when the landscaper was here :( We lost our Rose of Sharon tree in the front too. The gutters over flowed with ice a big chuck fell off splitting it in half. I was only slightly sad about that one. I didn't realize how many bees those attract when I planted it right next to the house on the walk way. Bee's would attack you as you passed to try to get to the front porch or the front door. I think the UPS man cursed me anytime he came during August and September. It's replaced with a nice limelight hydrangea.
I'm sorry about your Plum Tree. I hope it's replaced with something that thrives well and lasts forever!!

Sissy said...

We have several sweet gum trees and though they are pretty, their seed pods are horrible. They drop these golf ball sized spiky pods that clutter up our yard and are so easy to trip over and roll ankles. Then they stick in the grass and are hard to rake or blow up. My husband wants to chop down our three sweet gum trees and replace them.