- May 28 at 2:31 pm #23358
Did my raspberries kill my 4 year old Italian Plum/Prune tree?
Last spring this little tree flowered profusely, and had a couple dozen fruit growing. In the space of 3 weeks, the leaves shriveled and the fruit dried up on the tree. It now appears to be dead. However, there are new “sucker” shoots growing from the bottom 6″ of trunk.
This tree is at the end of 5 rows of red raspberries, and some of the canes have escaped the row and are growing very near the base of this tree.
I’m well aware of companion planting, but I never thought raspberries could kill an established tree.
Or am I missing something else? No signs last year of any infestations, or disease.May 28 at 9:17 pm #23359
The decline and death of a plum-prune tree in just 3 weeks can likely not be blamed on the raspberry plants. As you describe it, the tree failed above the graft (now you have suckers low on the trunk–those are likely root suckers). Failure above the graft could be attributed to physical injury to the trunk or chemical injury–herbicide application or drift from application nearby. What could have injured the tree in the weeks leading up to its decline? As for the raspberries: raspberries have running roots and the roots can be pernicious once established. Roots from different plants will compete for soil moisture and nutrients. If your plum tree declined over an extended period, the raspberry roots could have been to blame in part. To keep raspberries from running around the garden install a root barrier of tin or plastic to a depth of 18 inches.May 29 at 2:58 pm #23364
Thanks, but the only problem with the injury theory, and “failed above the graft” is that this tree was a “sucker” from our mature, thriving plum tree about 15 feed away. It grew all on it’s own and was never physically planted there by anyone.
I’m clearing out the encroaching raspberries, and hoping a new “orphan” will continue to grow from the living roots.