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Monday, January 23, 2012

Sap From Plums Not Always Due to Borers Dig to Find Out

Not the readers pic but this is sap oozing from a day old
cut plum limb at the orchard just to show you how much
they can bleed

Q. I have three red plums in my front yard and I attached pictures of them.  These trees were planted in 2003.  One plum has sap oozing out of the tree in 5 to 6 spots on the south facing side of the tree.  I cannot find any holes in the tree where the sap is oozing out.  The other two trees do not have this condition.  I put down systemic insecticides annually and I have sprayed the trunk of this tree every week with Bayer’s Advanced Insect Spray.  I noticed the sap started oozing late this summer.

more sap oozing from trunk from reader
A. Plums can be a fairly sappy tree and this may or may not mean you have borer problems. Sometimes stress in plum trees can cause oozing sap. However, to find out, you will have to take a sharp, sanitized knife and remove bark and dead wood below the sap. You should do this as soon as you see it next time.

            Your picture number three does look like loose bark caused by boring insects. Ultimately boring insects are attracted to trees which are weak or have been weakened or in poor health. Try to leave as much canopy on the tree as possible so that this canopy shades limbs and the trunk as much as possible.

            Systemic insecticides for borer control must be used with a great deal of caution when applying them to fruit trees with the fruit intended for consumption even if the label says you can legally apply it this way.

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