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What to do With a Bleeding Tree - Gummosis

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What to do With a Bleeding Tree - Gummosis

Peach Tree Gummosis

University of Georgia Photo

How to Deal With a Bleeding Tree:

Bleeding flora typically leads to concern when seen by tree growers and gardeners. Gum and sap draining from a tree trunk or limbs is very common in trees in the genus Prunus which includes peaches and cherries. This sap flow can be caused by both biotic diseases and abiotic injury.

The bleeding of a tree, although not normal, will not necessarily harm a tree or woody plant. There are many causes of free-running sap to include borers, cankers, bark injury and a variety of diseases. Controlling these damaging sources will control gum deposits and sap flow but there usually is no cure.

The Causes of Bleeding Trees or Gummosis:

Gum exuding from cherries, peaches and sweetgum is very common and has been given the name gummosis. Gummosis is not actually a pathogen but is the response to environmental stress. Insect injury and mechanical injury can result in gummosis. There are also several infectious diseases and cankers that can result in gummosis. It is not important for you to identify the specific cause(s) involved but very important to differentiate between insect infestation, mechanical injury, and infectious disease for diagnosis.

How to Treat Tree Bleeding and Gum Flow:

Try to identify whether the tree has been injured mechanically, been attacked by insects or infected by disease. Treat those causes as best you can while remembering making the tree comfortable and increasing tree vigor is a must and will yield great results. One immediate treatment should be the application of garden lime (several pints) under the tree drip-line. Raising soil Ph to 6.5 can do wonders for tree health.

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