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by Reed Buckley
(Salem, Or)


Leaf Curl on Plum Tree

I have a plum tree that we planted last year and I am seeing the leaves curl on the tree. I have sprayed with soapy water…to no avail. What can I do for this?

Comments for Leaf Curl

Jun 09, 2022
Curling new leaves
by: Jacki Cammidge, Certified Horticulturist

Unfortunately, spraying the tree after the damage has occurred won’t do anything. The curling is caused by aphids that lay their eggs the previous year at the axils of the leaves, which then hatch out in the spring and do the damage. This particular aphid is called Brachycaudus helichrysi.

If you look really closely, you may see them. What I recommend is taking all the leaves off, if they have just formed, and disposing of them somewhere off your property so they don’t just fly over and reinfect the same tree. Burn or put in the garbage – not in the compost.

Then spray the tree a few times as the new leaves emerge. Use Safers soap, not dish soap. Dish soap and other formulations will possibly burn the leaves.

Alternately, encourage plant predators like green or brown lacewings, lady beetles and syrphid flies and similar insects and birds which will eat the aphids. The problem with leaf curl aphids is that they are protected by the curled leaves. The plant predator method is my preferred way to deal with aphids, as they will have spread to other host plants which they use to lay in wait, ready to reinfect.

Jun 09, 2022
Leaf Curl
by: Reed Buckley

Thank you and Thank you for your help. It’s greatly appreciated. Have a great weekend coming up. Stay well and Be Blessed.