peach tree borer, canker, or fungus?

tanyaslogosJuly 11, 2013

Hello fellow fruit fanatics!

I have recently inherited two mature peach trees that my uncle planted around 10+ years ago. They have always been healthy and abundant.

After a long two year battle with COPD my aunt passed away and left the house/trees to me. Since I had been living with her for the last two years I am familiar with the trees but have only picked the fruit and cleared the fallen - I don't think they have been sprayed or pruned more than once in the last two years.

Anywhoooo this year they are both gorgeous and have plenty of peaches on them.

however the bark is covered with this clear and or amber gelatin like substance.

I have looked at a ton of photos of the borers sap but still not sure if this is a borer or a canker or a fungus. I can't see any worms or holes and the entire tree has this jelly on it an it also has this moss / fungus on it.

I believe the fungus / moss has been on there for a few years at least but I am pretty sure the jelly is new.

The only thing I have done different this year from the last two years was place grass clippings around the base of the trees in hopes of making the fallen fruit easier to pick up (splatted peaches are not easy to pick out of grass!)

I would really love to save these trees because they were a part of my aunt and uncle and I am pretty fed up with death at the moment.

Thanks for any insight - if you need additional photos just let me know. My camera died so I am stuck taking photos with my cell phone. :(


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mjmarco(Zone 6 Upstate NY)

Sometimes this leakage is caused by borers, sometimes it's due to wetness with the high sap pressures of early spring. Hose off the gel and look carefully around the base or where the sap was of the tree. If you do not see borer holes you are in the clear. Just leave the tree alone and it will heal itself up. It's also not a fungus or other disease. I have had this happen several times on young peach and nectarine trees. If it is borers get a insect spray for fruit trees that will protect it you can dig out the borer with a coat hanger if you have them.

Your not giving your location so it hard to know your weather...but those trees look great you do need to trim them or thin some peaches in the future to get a bigger peach, It also helps the tree with less stress on the branches.

I wish I didn't need to spray my trees and could have what you get...that' s great!


    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 8:22AM
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Thank you Mjmarco!

I just went outside and wiped off the jelly in several different areas and poked gently with a paperclip to see if there were any holes that I couldn't see.

No holes.


I am in Berlin Maryland and we have had a fairly wet spring/summer so hopefully I am in the clear and these trees will heal themselves.

I will also take your advice and thin out the peaches. I guess it is too late to do that this season. :(

The trees are located in town limits which may be why they aren't very buggy. The town sprays for mosquitoes so maybe it helps with the rest of the buggers.

Thanks again for your input. Greatly appreciated!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 8:31PM
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Thinning the peaches helps with getting larger sized fruit but that has to be done much earlier, ideally when they are about thumbnail sized or so. But it can also help with protecting the tree from broken limbs-you might want to look the trees over closely for badly bending branches and unload some a little, and think about what the next big wind could do blowing those weighted branches around a bit.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 10:55PM
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If it isn't borers, then it's gumosis, which is a fungus that attacks trees that are under stress. Your trees are under stress from the weight of all that fruit plus the additional weight from rain.
There's no real cure for it, but It will shorten the life of the tree.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:47AM
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