Plant Diseases/cherry


hi,my four year old cherry trees has some problem as its every branches ejects sticky gum and it looks that some stem boror insect has done this what is this tell me,if it is disease how to resolve

Dear Vivek, Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you.  I am visiting with my cousin from India (Dehradun) whom I haven't seen for 50 years.  Anyway, your problem is borers.  Your cherry trees are affected with peach tree borers.  I am including some treatments, but please let me know what other information you need, as I am trying to make sure that I get this answer in by the deadline.  If you can find mothballs, those have been used around the base of the tree to fumigate and kill the borers.  I have also heard of using sticky traps to catch the borers.  Pesticides with Spinosad, an organic compound, will kill the borers.  

The peach tree borer is the most destructive insect pest of peach, cherry, plum and other stone fruits
Peach tree borer can be difficult to control because insecticides cannot reach the damaging larvae after they move under the bark. The most effective controls are preventive insecticide applications at the vulnerable egg and early larval stages, while the insect is on the tree bark.
Egg laying occurs during the middle of the growing season. In warmer areas, it may begin July 1 and continue into September. In general, peak egg laying occurs from mid-July to mid-August.
Peach tree borer is controlled in commercial orchards by insecticides that contain permethrin (Pounce, Ambush# or esfenvalerate #Asana#. Insecticides containing these active ingredients #permethrin, esfenvalerate# are recently becoming available in some garden centers. Perhaps more widely available is carbaryl #Sevin#.
Other Controls
Paradichlorobenzene #PDB) moth crystals, used as a fumigant, may help control infestations of peach tree borer within a tree. After clearing away leaves and other debris from around the tree base, place the crystals in a band 1 to 2 inches from the base of the tree trunk. Cover the crystals with enough soil to create a 5- to 10-inch packed mound around the plant. The crystals release a gas at temperatures above 60 degrees F. The gas penetrates the trunk to kill peach tree borer larvae. Applications of PDB crystals are best made in late September or early fall but also can be applied in late spring.

The best thing to do is to make a note of when you see the borers present and then spray the trunks with Spinosad.  The borers will lay eggs on the tree, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae will eat the poison and die before they damage the tree.  These bugs look like small clear winged moths about an inch or two long, and the bodies are striped with dark and clear places on the wings.  

Also, the borers will feed on the tree from the base to about two feet above the ground, so sometimes the bottom few feet of these trees are painted white to discourage the borers.  They used to do that in the United States all the time to prevent borers.

Anyway, thank you for being patient with me.  Read this information and let me know what questions you have, and I will get back to you sooner.  I will be visiting my cousin through Saturday, so when you write back, I can respond much quicker.  Good luck, Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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