Plum tree oozing globs of jelly sap

ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)December 13, 2012

Hi all,

Just had a heavy rainstorm, and my dormant elephant heart plum is oozing tons of jelly-like sap. Sap is not sweet, rather it is gelatinous and translucent (photo attached).

Any ideas? I bought it a few months ago and it is still in a pot, waiting to be planted.


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


and if i am not mistaken.. incurable ..

what happened to the top of that tree??? .. wonder if the supplier cut off all the black knot.. lol ...

i would get rid of it ... lets see what the fruit pros have to say ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 1:29PM
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I'm not a tree pro nor do I play one on the Internet. ;)

It might be a stretch to automatically issue a death sentence. I see this sort of thing on various trees and plants after pruning cuts, and sometimes in random locations on branches. My grapevine does this after pruning as do peaches, plums, etc.

Generally, anywhere that a tree gets injured, it is going to sap at that spot. It's possible that the cause of what you are seeing is due to a sucking or boring insect, sun damage, or even rough handling. You seem to have a large amount in a fairly localized area. I would consider pruning out that section if it doesn't consist of a majority of the tree.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I've had that a couple times, the oozing of sap at the buds, and the tree showed no further adverse symptoms and it never happened again. About all you can do is check carefully for canker or injury and if there is none hope it just had a bad day and decided to blow off some sap.


    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 10:40PM
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alan haigh

I figure sap is like the mucus we get with a cold- and also more serious diseases- so the danger cant be accurately diagnosed on the internet.

I suspect that it is a hopeful sign that yours is coming from small wood instead of the trunk, but I've never encountered your problem here. If Scott has seen it come and go there's obviously a good chance yours will too, but you are in the other side of the country and have a different pest complex than he does.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:44AM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Hate to be a rain cloud, but there is indeed gummosis on the trunk too. There were two trees that were afflicted. One included the trunk, one did not (yet). When I tried removing the oozing branch from the lesser of the two afflicted trees, I noticed an axial brown streak in the trunk. It was there at multiple cross-sections. That can't be good...

By the way, non of my other 5 potted plum trees have any sap issues.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:41AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how i deal with plum .. at the link ..

gummosis alone is NOT a reason to get rid of the tree ..

but once its there.. its there. ebbing and flowing [literally] over the years.. and eventually.. it can take out.. an otherwise unhealthy tree ... and when that happens.. see link ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:57PM
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ahajmano(sunset 23, Mission Viejo CA)

Thanks for the information guys. I was anxious about planting an unhealthy plant from the get-go.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 5:15PM
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