cherry tree is dying

Asked September 16, 2016, 8:36 PM EDT

One of our cherry trees appears to be bleeding on the trunk and branches. We noticed some changes last year with knobs of sap about 1/2 to 1 inch across. This year there are many small holes with sap coming out in a string. I've attached photos. Can you tell what is happening. Can we save the tree or do we just need to take it out? There are no signs of problems on 3 other cherry trees. Thank you for any advise.

Dale Miller

Whitman County Washington

1 Response

It appears by your description and the photos that the tree is being attacked by shot hole borers. This is an insect that generally attacks trees that are under stress for some reason. It appears that the infestation is already so severe that it will eventually kill the tree. My other concern is that, if you leave the tree in, the infestation will spread to your other cherry trees. I think it is best to remove the badly infested tree and take the wood out of the area, as the insect can leave the wood and cause an infestation in your other trees. It is also important to make sure that the remaining trees are not under stress. Cherry trees typically do not like a lot of water, but they will need some supplemental water to help them to thrive in our dry summers. A deep irrigation every 10 days to 2 weeks starting in June and finishing in early September is generally adequate.