Plum Trees
Q.

Does a purple plum fruit tree cause damage to grass in the shaded area?

Zone Western Maryland | Alan Phillips added on May 31, 2012 | Answered

The grass under the tree starts the spring fine but as the fruit drops, the grass becomes damaged in splotches where the fruit has dropped. In the fall I reseed the affected area and cover with good soil. The grass does very well until the fruit drops.

A.
A.Answers to this queston: Add Answer
Heather
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 4, 2012

This probably not caused so much by the fruit dropping but the canopy overhead filling out. In the spring, the canopy is rather sparse and some light is able to get through, and thus the grass is happy. Once the fruit drops, the tree diverts more energy to the canopy and the canopy grows thicker and more lush and so less light can get through. Then the grass dies because of the lack of light. It is a common occurrence with trees.

The normal solution is to do some targeted pruning on the tree to thin the canopy out some. Start by removing weak or crossing branches. This is normally enough to thin the canopy enough to allow the grass below to survive.

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