I have a Flowering Plum tree in my back yard very big and old. I tested the soil this year and it still shows too alkaline. The leaves appear just after the fading of the flowers. Purple leaf plum, a medium-sized deciduous tree, is a popular showcase plant in landscapes. Also, the pots should be lifted off the ground so that they do not freeze and perhaps crack in winter. They bloom the most beautiful pink flowers in spring. My large (9foot) potted bay tree has split its bark quite badly this summer. Purple leaf plum tree is one of those few trees, whose blooming marks the arrival of spring. what can i do to save it. It is one of 8 ornamental pots on display in an Italian garden, it would be dreadful if it died as it quite old and matches the others! What causes this an is there anything I can do to improve the condition of this tree? Leaves are generally shed in the month of August and by the end of September, the tree completely loses its foliage. Continue Reading, Gardening Question From Crystal: I am going to be doing some container gardening this summer for the first time. There is another split on another branch which has died,, is this an indication that I am going to lose our tree?? Bark splitting can occur in response to various environmental factors at different times of the year. I want to upgrade the containers which are currently plastic buckets. It has typically done very well. If so, the problem is most likely sun scald. I have bough an organic potting soil but would like to… Doubtless this heat has contributed to the problem. Thank you for your reply Pat. is there anything I can do? Refer to this recent advice from “the Plant Clinic” at Cornell University: http://ccesuffolk.org/assets/Horticulture-Leaflets/Bark-Splitting-On-Trees.pdf. A clogged drainage hole could have led to splitting bark but it also could be causing yellow leaves and eventually could kill the tree. Once a tree is weakened, it is susceptible to disease. No, do not spray Tanglefoot onto bark since this can harm the bark further. Bark splitting on ornamental plum tree Posted by Pat Welsh. We never pruned it till about 2 year ago when we cut off a lot of branches - our neighbors were complaining that it was spreading into their backyard. Bark splitting on bay trees is usually caused by overwatering. I’ve purchased 4 15-gallon containers of Pandorea Jasminoides – Bowers Vine – that I want to train onto my wooden fence. Fruit trees, including ornamental types, have thin bark. Sorry it took so long to thank you. Plum trees can be affected by a variety of diseases common to stone fruit. The purple leaves on this tree still look good; however, last year the bark started splitting and coming off of the west side of the trunk and now it seems to be spreading to the other sides. It has typically done very well. Continue Reading, Gardening Question From Martha: I have access to a commercial mushroom farm that makes its spent mushroom medium available at no charge to gardeners. The purple leaves on this tree still look good; however, last year the bark started splitting and coming off of the west side of … I have had this problem with many plants that have been in containers a long time. This seems to be a terrific addition for my raised beds. You mention that you have pruned this tree over the years. Then one has to put the pot upright again, place a piece of crockery over the drainage hole, fill the bottom with fresh potting soil, then replace the plant and put fresh soil into the two opposing sides. When bark splits on fruit trees, whether ornamental or bearing edible fruit, this is usually the result of winter damage caused by temperature fluctuations that shows up later in summer. The plum is a strikingly beautiful specimen tree, but it is notoriously short-lived (in some zones it won't exceed 10 years); it is susceptible to bark-cracking, diseases such as cankers on branches, leaf-shot on leaves (small holes caused by bacteria), pear saw-fly (larva of their eggs develop on leaves, resembling tiny slimy tadpoles, and they feed on the leaves). I suggest you paint the trunk with white latex paint in order to protect it from sunburn and reduce or prevent further splitting.