Have any of you fruit tree growers encountered this condition? This "blistering" of clear sap on the base of the trunks is occurring on otherwise healthy young cherry trees. This particular one is a multi-graft (bing, rainier and stella) and fruited well this year. It appears to be healthy and the only other unusual thing that I have experienced with these trees was a very heavy infestation of tent caterpillars a couple of months ago that required (or at least it did in my opinion) some out of season pruning. Other than that, the only problems I have had are some minor leaf curl. The trees are mulched with composted steer manure and watered fairly regularly. Any ideas as what this is and how serious it is would be much appreciated. Thanks!
p.s. I have had some evidence of bacterial canker on some old flowering scrub cherries elsewhere on the property.
Can you provide a close up pic of the white or yellowish
colored glob, that is the one on the furthest left of the
picture? I am seeing the possible effects of two diseases,
that is why I asked for the pic. The gummosis mass on
the right side is indicative of Bacterial Canker. How long
ago did your first notice the gummosis? Was it present
during the Winter is what I want to know? A lot of times
what we automatically think is a Bacterial Canker wound
was actually caused by borers and borers love Cherry trees.
Can you tell me if the apparent lesion above and to the right
of the gummosis spot is moist to the touch or not?
Was this tree double grafted? Was the trunk grafted to the
rootstock and then the 3 fruiting grafts grafted much higher
up on the trunk? The reason I asked is that I am not seeing
very well a low graft if there was one.
My cherry tree also has developed these clear and yellowish sap accumulations but I don't know if they were present over the winter. I first noticed it near the base, but now that I look more closely I see that there is quite a bit going up one of the main stems. If it's a borer or a bacterial infection, is there a treatment. It flowered and fruited well this year (as always) and otherwise appears healthy. It's quite old though
Now and while the tree is dormant are the times of year
we will see some evidence of Bacterial Canker on our
Cherry Trees. Usually we will see the initial gummosis
just right above the graft. There is no preventative as
the bacterium was in the initial host grafting material
used to make your tree. Virtually all Cherries have
some degree of Bacterial Canker in their systems. We
can suppress the disease by spraying the trees including
a good dousing of the trunks with a copper or a calcium
based fungicide such as lime sulphur while the tree is
dormant, at pre-bloom and/or at the popcorn stage (when
the flower buds start to swell just prior to their opening).
I have a cherry tree that has a bleeding problem halfway up the trunk. I noticed it this spring. It is a clear rust colour and when it is running it is a sticky sap and when it dries on the tree trunk it is the same colour and clear, but a hard rubber texture. The last 2 years it did not bear much fruit and had reduced foliage. I have had 2 dry summers in my area and I attributed the poor production to the weather. This year the tree started to bleed.
What can I do to stop this?
I have a peach tree which may have the same trouble you have discussed with the cherry trees. Just yesterday I noticed all around the base of the tree a soft mushy goo spreading to about 2 to 3 inches from the trunk. I thoroughly examined the tree and other than at the base there is no appearance of this goo. I poked the goo with a stick and there was a globule of clear jelly on the top of it which looked similar to the goo shown on the cherry tree trunk. My first thought was that some creatures must be eating the roots of the tree, but perhaps it is a disease. This tree is probably about six years old and has been healthy and productive in the three years I have known it. I really want to save it, what can I do?
If you can do it post some photos of the
gummosis of your Peach tree if you can.
I'd like to see where the graft of your tree
is in relation to the ground level also and
a photo of the entire tree if you can do
all of this. What variety of Peach is it?
Give me something to work with and
I'll see what I can do.
I have three photos for you. When we first noticed the gummy substance it was a veritable moat surrounding the tree. I was digging around in the moat to see if there were any bugs to see, but all i saw were a few ants. We then took a hose and rinsed away the slime and gooey soil and pulled it away from the trunk to get a better look. I was worried this might be a bad idea, but was outvoted... At any rate this is why the soil looks the way it does near the base. You can tell where the soil line was by the darkness and slime and where the trunk starts to have hips. All i know about this variety of peach is that it has yellow flesh and looks similar to store bought peaches though these tend to be smaller and much tastier. Let me know if I can provide more details for your inspection, and thanks for trying to help me identify this problem.
You have more than one problem at work here with
the trunk of this tree. There a quick fix suppressant
for it but that fix alone will not be your panacea to
cure this tree.
I am seeing evidence of a root rot fungus which either
the trunk of this tree is too moist due to water hitting
it or the soil has been much too wet for too long. We
usally see this same condition on Cherries out here
even in dry conditions but the wetness exacerbates
the condition. The fungus along with the bacterial
canker already in the tree will be the eventual demise
for this tree. We can suppress these two evils and
make the tree live longer but the tree will perish
in time due to both dieases working in conjunction
From what I am seeing the tree does not appear to
get all day sun, appears to be getting quite a bit of
shade, is that right? Is the soil ever able to dry out
at weekly intervals during the year? How are you
watering this tree and how often? Unless you let
the soil dry out some during the year this tree will
be iffy for you planted in that spot with what I
suspect is a little too much shade for this tree.
What I would do and I would do it now is that I
would scrape off as much of the gummosis as
possible using a putty knife if need be. Wait a
day or two and then spray the whole tree with
Copper sulfate or a Copper based fungicide such
as Ridomil but make sure to spray the trunk heavily.
Wait about 2-3 days to let the trunk dry and then
apply a white latex paint and paint the whole trunk
and paint it heavy. Two coats allover the trunk if
need be. The paint keeps out insect invaders and
will force the sap to stay more so inside the tree
without seeping out through the trunk. Paint all
of the trunk all the way down to ground level and
paint as high up the tree to the first lateral or side
I will do as you suggest. This tree does not get all day sun, it gets more like 1/2 - 2/3 day sun. After reading your comments, I fear the problem might have been caused by excessive watering this last summer. In the past it was never watered, but this year it was the unlucky neighbor of some thirsty plants who asked for water every other day. What a sad day, I am horrified to know that I seem to have inadvertently destroyed this beautiful tree! Thank you for the advice. We had an unusually hot and dry summer, but even so it does rain here and it is quite humid.
Just out of curiosity, could something like this be caused by a sick tree elsewhere? Is it contagious? I ask because we have a beautiful and enormous copper beech that has been diagnosed with some kind of terminal disease, and it has bleeding wounds on the trunk as well, though the ooze appears to be black and not as gelatinous. We we told one year ago it was going to die and in that time it has lost more than 2/3 of its fullness. The afflicted branches have stunted leaves that seem curled and brown and the bark is peeling off. i noticed on the peach tree that a couple branches didn't succeed in developing fruit, but clearly tried. There are tiny beginnings of peaches still on those branches, they look more like seedpods. The leaves are also tiny and undeveloped on a few branches. Is there any relationship between these two sick trees?
No, you did not kill this tree and yes, you can help
prolong its life. Give this tree more direct sunlight
and deep water the tree but water less often during
the Summer months.
The fungus usually is found right at the graft union.
Sometimes the graft is covered over with soil that
retains too much moisture and then we will see the
effects of the rotting. It cannot be cured per say
but we surely can slow down the effects of it. I
have an Almond tree that first showed the same
effects 25 years ago and it is still alive. A Cherry
tree I referenced in another thread had this same
condition of both pathogens at work over 30 years
ago and it is still alive. If we do nothing to slow
down the spread of the diseases we can expect the
tree to perish on us much sooner than we want it to.
You still have time to do something about saving
your tree and I suggest you start right away.
No, the diseases you have in this Peach are not
communicable from a planted tree already infected
with a disease and more likely with the Beech,
probable borer insects. The painting of the trunk
on your Peach will keep the borers away and will
cover any of them up that are in your tree now and
will cause them to die as you will have prevented,
covered over with the paint, their escape from your
Thank goodness, I am much relieved to hear about the trees living with this problem for many years. Thank you so much for all your advice, I am rushing out now to find the anti-fungal you mentioned. You have been very kind and helpful. Have a wonderful day!
I am having a similar problem with cherry and peach trees on my property. Yellowish, sticky sap starts to appear on a tree and then spreads all over. At the end, some of the infected trees shed foliage and died. All of the trees get sunlight all day. I have attached some pictures below and would appreciate any help.
Also, this problem seems to be spreading from one tree to another.
I have the exact same problem as gafyon in that my peach trees have the sap weeping issue that is shown in gafyon's fig #1. I have two older trees with the problem, but a new tree that does not. Also, we had an unusually hard frost here for a few nights in AZ this winter. Could that have caused the problem? I'd like to do what I can before the trees begin to bud next month.
I'm writing about the same problem as gafyon's cherry trees, and my cherry tree looks just like the photos posted. I too live near Washington, D.C.
Did you ever treat these trees successfully? What did you do?
Last edited by darcy sreebny; January 22nd, 2011 at 08:59 AM.
Reason: I now live in Virginia, U.S.A.
Dont prune in 0-5 degrees celcius during wet conditions. It is very hard to spread canker with equipment even when scientists have tried, so dont worry about sterilizing tools, but it does spread onto the cuts you make none the less, so just dont prune during cool and wet conditions. Sub-zero to -12 is the best time to prune as you will not spread cytospera either. Copper or even bleach, if used very carefully, could surface sterilize if you are getting leaf-drop during the described conditions. Another thing you could try is slashing the trunk vertically on both sides of the infection to stop it from girdleing the trunk. This girdleing is why a lot of young trees dont survive. Painting cuts with "Heal and Seal" might help also. Lots of healthy and productive trees had/have canker.