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Plant Diseases/cherry tree sap


cherry tree
cherry tree  

cherry tree
cherry tree  
Hi Dr. Vann,

My question is regarding a cherry tree that was on our property when we purchased our home 7 years ago.  This will turn out to be 2 questions actually.  I identified the tree to be a weeping cherry tree because the branches were thin and hung downward like a weeping tree and the pink flowers were similar to those of a cherry tree.  This past spring, we had approximately 10 cherries grow which were edible.  They were pinkish yellow.  This was a surprise because it's never produced cherries before.  The second question is regarding the sap that is oozing out of the trunk and on some of the thicker branches.  I tried researching on my own and came across some information that says maybe the tree has a disease called ""canker"?  I would love to try and save the tree because 1, it's beautiful, and secondly learn to help it produce more cherries if it is indeed a fruit bearing tree.  Thank you for any help on these issues!!

Laura DiStefano


The sap ooze is referred to as gummosis.  It occurs as a result of a wound created in the bark/wood by some agent(s). These agents may be an insect (usually a type of boring insect)or a disease organism.  I would first consider the possibility of an insect such as for example the plum curculio borer.  Google this insect for more information on how to ID and manage.  I believe protecting the trunk and branches with an insecticide is best. These critters are difficult to manage once they get inside the tree.  There are insecticides that can be applied to the soil and are taken up by the tree.  Gummosis is considered as a defensive mechanism by the tree to "fight" the invader.

Hope this helps.


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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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