Ornamental Plum: Crown gall

categories: Ornamental Plum Ornamental Plum Diseases Ornamental trees Ornamentals

revision date: 2022-11-28 12:00

Large gall on crown.
Large gall on crown
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Crown gall is a bacterial infection that can attack through wounds to the lower trunk, crown, or larger roots. Susceptible plants first develop soft warty or spongy swellings on the crown or roots. These enlarge over time and may reach a diameter of several inches on mature trees. Young trees can be stunted and girdled, but older trees are seldom killed by the infection. Infected trees may be more susceptible to drought and winter injury and are often weakened at the site of the gall. The crown gall bacterium survives in the soil in plant tissues and is often spread by contaminated nursery stock or cultivation equipment.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Plant only disease-free materials.
  • Do not plant susceptible species in contaminated soil.
  • Avoid injuring the roots or crown of plants during planting or cultivation.
  • Severely infected trees and those declining due to infection should be removed and destroyed.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • None recommended