Young Apricot Tree Issues

Asked March 23, 2020, 1:05 PM EDT

I recently did some late winter pruning on some of the tress in my backyard orchard. I inspected some of the other trees that I plan on pruning later. A couple trees, both apricots, showed different issues on the trunks. All of my tress have white spiral trunk protectors. Attached are a couple of pictures. The first tree had a yellow gooey substance on the trunk. The other showed bark damage (sun scald?). Can you help identify what's going on?

Ottawa County Michigan

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. The first picture indicates the the tree has had an injury (likely from sun scald) and the second picture looks like sunscald. This is usually located on the south/southwest side of the tree. The woulds seem to have occurred in previous years since have substantial callus material has already formed. The oozing of sap is usually caused by environmental, or mechanical wounding, disease, or insects (e.g borers). Diseased trees are not easily treated. Check out the following links:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/frost-cracks-sunscald-growth-cracks

Thanks! The damage on the tree in the first picture is on the north side of the trunk. Of the options you provided, borers looks like the most likely possibility. Do you have any recommendations on treating and preventing further issues? I have white spiral plastic trunk protectors on all my trees.

When treating borers timing is important. The peach tree borer and the lesser peach tree borer don't hatch at the same time. The following links have more detail. The appropriate chemicals are listed in the first link (some may not be available in Michigan) including carbaryl and permethrin for use by homeowners. The last two links include more detail information on the two borers. Understanding their life cycle can help enhance your efforts.
https://pnwhandbooks.org/insect/tree-fruit/apricot/apricot-peachtree-borer
https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef213
https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/uploads/files/StoneFruit-FactSheets-WEB-FINAL.pdf
https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/uploads/files/StoneFruitIPM_Lesserpeachtreeborer23.pdf
https://www.canr.msu.edu/ipm/uploads/files/StoneFruitIPM_Peachtreeborer26.pdf
I hope this is helpful,