Fruit trees

Asked June 9, 2013, 8:52 AM EDT

I planted two cherry and two peach trees this spring. Two of the trees are leaking sap. I read this is call canker and its not curable but is some times managable. What should be done to treat the trees? Or because there so young should I pull them and start over? What causes the disease or how do I prevent it in the future? Thank You for your help, Kevin.

Barry County Michigan

1 Response

Many problems seen in the year of planting are due to poor quality planting material. If other perennials planted at the same time, same soil and same care, are doing well, then I would suspect problems with the planting material. Other causes can be problems with the planting site such as waterlogged soil, herbicide damage, fertilizer burn, or root systems drying out before planting.

Sap is a sign that the tree is attempting to heal itself and is not necessarily a sign of disease. It is not unusual that a newly planted tree has some damage to the limbs, resulting in the sap you observe.

Signs of bigger problems are discolored bark, sunken areas, bad crotch areas, cracking trunk, limbs with poor growth.

If you have dead limbs, prune them off. Continue to give the trees care typical of any plant - adequate but not too much water. You will have to wait and see how the plant grows out of its current situation.

It is hard to give you more specific advice without seeing your trees. You are welcome to send me some digital pictures to help with the diagnosis and recommendations.