How to Identify, Prevent and Treat Gummosis on Fruit Trees

  • jack Officer
  • May 30, 2023

Leucostoma persoonii and Leucostoma cincta

Gummosis refers back to the oozing of sap or gum from a tree. This conduct is quite common on stone fruits, together with apricots, peaches, and plums.

You possibly can have a look at gummosis as your tree’s cry for assist in the face of any certainly one of quite a few issues.

The commonest explanation for gummosis is a fungus initially known as Cytospora that’s now known as Leucostoma.

This fungus is opportunistic. That signifies that it infects straightforward targets like weakened bushes. It requires each a wound and a tree that’s burdened.

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Pruning cuts are a significant supply of entry for this fungus. Sunscald and chilly harm – and even deer rubs – could make your tree susceptible to Cytospora an infection.

Prevention is one of the best ways to handle this situation.

Two Leucostoma Species Infect Fruit Timber

Two species of Leucostoma may be on the assault. L. persoonii is extra prone to infect apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines and cherries grown at a low elevation. This species is extra of an issue in hotter climates.

In distinction, L. cincta is extra prone to assault apples and cherries in cooler areas, like orchards at excessive elevations.

Each species of fungus are widespread within the US and all through British Columbia and Ontario, Canada as nicely. They’ve additionally been recognized to trigger issues in South America, Europe, and Japan.

Methods to Diagnose Gummosis As a result of Leucostoma Canker

Your tree will exhibit signs like dieback of the cover and tree flagging. And it’ll produce numerous gum. Assume extreme.

Close up of a the trunk of cherry tree with leucostoma canker and gummosis.
The trunk of a cherry tree contaminated with L. persoonii exhibiting indicators of Leucostoma canker and oozing sap.

The gum that Leucostoma fungi produce has a darkish amber coloration. Scrape off the bark and have a look at the phloem beneath. Will probably be cinnamon brown.

Usually, the fungus grows throughout favorable occasions just like the winter and spring. When the tree begins actively rising, it partitions off the an infection till it loses resistance once more within the fall. You possibly can see this sample within the type of bands of lighter and darker coloured tissue.

Close up of gummosis on an apricot tree trunk.

To differentiate Leucostoma canker from different causes of gummosis, it’s best to search for its fruiting our bodies – protrusions from the floor of the woody tissue that appear like small black pimples.

These fruiting our bodies can produce hundreds of spores, and people of L. persoonii can journey as much as 260 ft.

Methods to Stop Gummosis

Cultural Controls

1. Optimum Fertilization and Care

Because the major causal agent of apricot, peach, and plum gummosis assaults weakened bushes, do your finest to maintain yours wholesome with optimum mulching, watering, and vitamin.

It is best to take into account fertilizing with nitrogen within the late winter or early spring. It will forestall your tree from producing development that could possibly be broken by chilly within the fall.

2. Prune Exactly and Take away Broken Tissue

Be very cautious whenever you prune. Make correct cuts and don’t prune in moist climate. It is very important not depart stubs or flat cuts and to not make flush cuts.

Take away contaminated limbs and twigs by rigorously pruning again to the wholesome wooden. It is best to do that throughout dry climate in the summertime if attainable, so the wound will heal as rapidly as attainable.

Sterilize your instruments with Lysol wipes or 10% bleach between cuts.

It is probably not attainable to prune out the entire harm if the fungus has unfold.

3. Defend from Sunscald

Defend the bark of your tree from sunscald in the course of the winter. To do that, you’ve got two decisions.

One is to color the trunk with half white latex paint and half water.

A human hand uses a paint brush to apply thinned latex paint to the trunk of a fruit tree.

Your different selection is to use white tree wrap from December to March.

4. Defend In opposition to Rodents and Bugs

Deal with for rodents and bugs, in order that they gained’t create wounds in your tree. Some growers spray pesticides to maintain borers from producing holes within the bushes.

5. Drain Water from the Base of the Tree

You wish to remember to forestall harm to the crown from the chilly. You are able to do this by draining water away from the tree’s base.

Chemical Controls

Should you reside in space the place this pathogen is widespread, it’s best to deal with your tree with chemical compounds as a preventative measure.

Apply captan, thiophanate-methyl, or lime sulfur (Bordeaux combination) in 50% latex or kaolin clay to freshly lower pruning wounds. Don’t apply copper hydroxide, since this has been proven to be poisonous to the bushes.

Lime sulfur mixed with white latex paint is used to protect a large pruned limb area from infection.
Use a lime-sulfur resolution (Bordeaux combination) blended with white latex or kaolin clay to mission freshly pruned areas from an infection.

In case your bushes are a part of an natural program, lime sulfur is protected to make use of.

Monitor Your Tree Intently

Attempt to be sure that your tree is just not burdened and doesn’t have any wounds on it.

Leucostoma canker is frequent in yard bushes, so be very cautious whenever you prune them. Chances are you’ll wish to apply a chemical therapy after pruning, so the fungus will be unable to enter via pruning wounds.

Hold a watch out for gummosis. Should you see it, attempt to decide if it is because of fungal harm. In that case, rapidly prune out the broken tissue earlier than it spreads.

And when you do lose a tree to this fungus, please take away it. The fungus will proceed to reside on the useless tissue and can hold producing spores to contaminate different bushes.

Have you ever waged battle towards gummosis in your backyard or residence orchard? In that case, tell us the way it went within the feedback.

And for extra info on rising fruit bushes, try a few of our different guides:

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