Q. Our peach tree has sap coming out from the ground level to the top of one of the limbs. Not sure if too much water, not enough water, too many bugs or what.
A. This is the time of year we start noticing borer damage in peach trees. Sap comes out from the limbs and possibly all along the trunk.
|Branch dieback due to peach borer damage.|
A clear indicator of borer damage will be that the bark around the sappy areas will peel off, leaving bare wood under it with clear feeding damage (looks like someone took a miniature sander to the wood with no clear pattern) and if you pull enough bark away you will see flattened, oval exit holes from the adult beetles.
|Bark peeling away from dying branch due to borers.|
You may even see some sawdust under the bark in these "sanded" areas from their feeding. Remove all loose bark all the way into good wood. You may even find a flattened, ugly larva of a borer just under the bark still feeding. Keep it for a pet if you want to.
If damage is more than 50% around the limb, cut it off. Do not paint with black tree wound paint. Paint the trunk and remaining limbs with diluted white latex paint (50/50 with water) on the upper surface of all branches down to one inch in diameter and the trunk.
Borers like limbs and trunks exposed to the hot and intense sunlight. White paint keeps limbs and trunks several degrees cooler than brown limbs and trunks and helps to reduce damage to these parts by intense sunlight.