I have noticed that as soon as I removed lawn clippings as a mulch and replaced them with Garden and Bloom Soil Building Conditioner assuming the good stuff in the conditioner would help my Bing Cherry Tree; it seems to be weeping Sap from various spots on the trunk and some branches? We have had VERY heavy winds and a wet winter but nothing additionally that I can think of. The tree is old. The trunk diameter is at least 4-5"
Please help me to determine the best way I can treat this tree! It had an AMAZING yield of big beautiful cherries last summer and now this?
It wasn't pruned properly and now the branches are "growing into and hurting" each other and making it easy for pest to get inside and attack it.
I think it has already been invaded with some pest and it is probably hard to get rid of them.
Spray with the entire tree with good microbe to outcompete/attack the bad microbes.
Kill the pest eggs/spore that overwinter underneath it.
Inoculate under the tree with good microbes to outcompete/attack bad bugs
Address tree stress (mal-nutrition/over watering/etc) which could be creating a weak immune system (rock dust, woodchip, biochar, etc)
Iterations are fine, we don't have to be perfect
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7 AHS:4 GDD:3000 Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
Once dormant season pruning is complete, spray trees with Horticultural Oil.
Apply Tree Paint early in the season to the trunks of susceptible trees to reduce bark cracking, sun stress and suitable egg-laying areas.
Pheromone traps can be used as effective monitoring tools, but should not be relied upon to control a pest population.
Applications of Beneficial Nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) have shown positive results in controlling larvae when applied directly to bark cracks with frass buildup.
When adults are present, release Trichogramma Moth Egg Parasites to control egg populations.
Insecticide applications to the tree trunk can be made to kill the eggs already present. Neem Oil, Pyrethrins and Azadirachtin are all suitable for controlling most larves.
Application location should be isolated to where damage or pests are seen to limit effects on the environment.
Mating disruption using pheromone dispensers has proven to be the most effective borer damage control.
Overall tree health is paramount in fending off pest insect populations, so fertilizing, watering and environmental conditions should be monitored continuously.
Clear ground cover and vegetation away from the base of the tree as both will provide additional protection for eggs and larvae.
Other things to think about, the sap seems to be coming from the crotches, that may be an indicator of wind stress cracking open the bark in those joints. I would carefully inspect the trunks for bore holes in and around those areas.
If you have really good, bioactive compost you can make an aerated tea (5 lbs. compost to 20 gal. water) and spray the trunks with that, the microorganisms will help fight off more infestation if there is some now and it will help prevent any further infestation.
Use the tea around the root ball (from trunk all the way out to the drip line), that will really help subdue any infesting insect larvae in the soil.
Thank you all so much for your helpful information! I will address nutrition and pest control. I work at Ace Hardware and Neem Oil is available in the Nursery as well as we'll be getting in a line of Hendrikus Organic products very soon.
In regards to wind stress I would definitely believe it! We've had some horrific gusts from the south topping 60 to 70 mph at times and the poor fruit trees have all been hit hard. In addition, there was an infestation of Codling Moth in all of my apple trees last summer.
Most likely because in my naivety of wanting to purge all the bad stuff and go all organic I didn't have the proper pest control and nutrition for the season. Ironically the Peaches and Cherry's were better than ever.
We acquired the property in May of 2016 and the previous owner had lawn growing right up to the trunks <I installed tree rings at the drip line to mow around and to give me a place to add nutrients to the soil> he used all heavy pesticide based products <read Roundup!> and the trees were heavily overgrown with bad branches, watersprouts etc. They are almost all older growth in just awful soil. Heavy Clay.
I tried to prune properly, even going to a class and did my best. I will obviously need an arborist or someone to help give me some sage advice in doing things properly.
I have Malus Akane, Honeycrisp, Nijisseiki Oriental, Fuji, El Star, Frost Peach, Glacier Cherry, Bing Cherry and Pie Cherry trees on this property.
Looks like it will take me a couple years of understanding just how to care for my trees properly. Best regards, Shelly
Shelly, do you have a compost heap going now? This will be of huge benefit to your fruit trees if you do have a large compost heap going all the time.
One of he best defenses for fruit tree pests is compost tea sprayed on the trunks of the trees both in the spring and just as fall comes on.
Then you can also use compost tea on the soil around your fruit trees to add microorganisms, loosen the clay sub soil layers and add minerals and ions of minerals.
Be sure that also water outside those lovely borders around each of the trees, the feeder roots are most likely well beyond those borders.
Before you use any "Off the Shelf" products be sure to read the ingredient lists, better to not use something that contains harmful items.
Neem Oil is great stuff!
Pruning is an ongoing learning experience and I love that you are willing to use an arborist to give you help in the learning process.
I usually start with any dead wood then prune "water sprouts" then, after inspecting every crotch, I determine which one of the two branches can stay, you don't want anything that might snap off in a high wind.
The wider the branch crotch, the better is a good rule of thumb. The way the bark wrinkles will tell you a lot if you take enough time to make good observations, many times these wrinkles will show you which part is the weakest.
Good luck and I like your variety of trees, absolutely wonderful selection of species there.
Oh yeah, if you haven't already, go check out my current thread on the Biodynamic Board in Growies, it might be of help to you too.
I have had the same problem with my 2 Ranier and Van cherry trees: a bacterial canker. Gordon Tooley of Tooley's Trees in Truchas, NM instructed me in detail. Two of his replies are below. I cut mine out, then used the borax/water mix poured onto a napkin and taped it to the would for 24 hours with masking tape. I removed the tape/napkin the next day. I've had to do this with multiple wounds on both trees. I did prune one fat branch that just had too large of an infection to dream of fixing it. I did not witness the "black triangle of death" that Gordon mentions, but the rest of the treatment has worked very well. I believe the thick jelly is the identifier such infections. It's discussed on the internet quite a bit. Four years after the initial infections, the trees are healing, even though they lost cambium along a strip on one side of the trunk. But both trees are growing well.
"Hi Mike, It looks like bacterial canker, Eutypa lata aka Cytosporina, you can see the dark canker under the bark that will spread up and down from the site of gummosis. I dont see borer activity in the pics. This is a problem in stone fruits, A cross section from a pruned off branch will reveal the "Black Triangle of Death". If you are to prune out anything your tools have to be clean and sharp and have to be cleaned after each cut with 90% alcohol. Very contagious and spreads by injuries to bark, This can even spread to fresh cuts by rain drops and insect visitation from the ooze. With the chance for rain over the next few weeks makes the window for pruning not good, however this canker is picking up speed daily and if a large lower cut made below any canker is made now it may help out. Look for the black triangle in a cross section.
Mix a tbs, borax in a spray bottle and soak the cut as soon as you cut the branch. This will speed cell wall closure and help with callus cells.
There is no shortage of info on this. The tree my have had it for a long time. Many factors can bring this on or make it kick into gear.
All pruned wood and leaves need to be burned or removed from the site,.
Thanks for asking, sorry to confirm your suspicions." Gordon
Thanks for planting trees! Margaret and/or Gordon
"Mike that is last years canker trying to wall off infection, could be the entry site of the canker, trunk injuries are common and caused by a endless list of circumstances. The other pic with the hole may be borer or bird or where a lesion erupted. Take a point of a knife and lift the bark around the hole. You can remove the necrotic bark until you find a new rind of callus, notice how the canker moves up and down to a tapered off point, could be larva inside also since they all work together. It is too far gone for fungicides/bactericides and insecticides.
The canker is in deep in the sapwood. Make your cuts, see what happens, if no go, dig it up and covercrop the site and dont put a prunus there until next year." Gordon
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Redhawk, yes I do have a compost pile started but it is very immature. It is an open system made of block and I have leaves, starter, and fruit and veggie waste that I am working. It is the first season and a lot of green material so far so I will have to buy a good "tea" compost. Garden and Bloom products are my go to so far and Hendrikus Organics will be available soon.
Mike thank you so much for the additional information! Scary to think about what can happen if I don't properly treat this tree!? I would hate for the rest of my trees to have a problem. I am addressing all the trees now. Best regards to both of you. Shelly