Cherry tree peeling

Asked July 12, 2017, 7:09 PM EDT

My grafted (4types of cherries) is peeling on the south side and I've noticed amber colored sap between branches. Ants love this. There does seem to be a white fungus growing on a branch I cut back last year. I'm in Michigan. I don't water it weekly. There were also an abundance of tart cherries, though few of the other types. There is a dead branch I will cut back also. Not sure what to put on branch after cutting.

Wayne County Michigan

3 Responses

Thanks for the pictures. You don't mention if the tree seems to be growing poorly only that it has a dead branch. We had severely cold winters in 2014 and 2015 which damaged many trees especially those in poor health. Your problems may be related to these winter of have other causes. The presence of the white mold makes me think there is a wood rotting fungi inside the tree and it will slowly die.
The gummois (ooze on the tree) is a response by the tree to an injury much like running a fever when you are sick. The injury could be by an insect (Lesser peach tree borer or American plum borer both attach cherry trees) or a disease such as bacterial canker. These are all serious problems.
My guess it is bacterial canker and you should compare the pictures in the link with you tree.
The big wound on the south side of the tree is called Southwest injury and results when very cold weather and sunny skies in the winter cause the bark to warm up and cool down during the day and get very cold at night. This can kill the bark. The bark splits and the wood of the interior is exposed. You can see from your picture that the bark on either side of the wound is growing to cover the wound and that is a good sign. The peeling bark in your middle photo looks normal and caused by growth of the trunk below.
The white rot in the last photo is a wood rooting fungi that has gotten into the wood of the tree and is now spreading inside the tree and producing the fruit bodies (mushrooms) on the exterior of the tree. I see this fungus on many trees not just cherries it is called White bracket fungi (Irpex lacteus) This fungus is living on the wood and dead tissues of the tree.The trunk will become brittle and easily broken as the wood inside the tree is weakened. I see from your picture that fungus is in the trunk of the tree not just the dead branch. I attach a picture of a dead tart cherry tree with extensive White Bracket fungus.

I would suggest painting the wounds and exposed wood with INTERIOR latex paint.

Thank you very much for your advise. Tree seems fully this year than most. Even enough cherries for a pie. This hasn't happens in years. Hopefully the tree will survive. Again, thank you very much.

Sounds healthy and that is good.