My mesquite tree is oozing out a lot of sap. I did noticed ants at the base of the tree. Could ants be causing this, or something else? Is this anything to be worried about?
They do this when they have too much water, and occasionally if they have a bacterial infection. Cut back on watering (if it's been in the ground more than 2 or 3 years, no water is needed)
And ants spent their lives running up and down those trees. I don't know what they do up there, but it's normal.
Sometimes mesquites also ooze sap in response to overpruning. Be sure you never remove more than 25 percent of the living foliage (branches/leaves) in any year. The best time to prune desert trees (mesquite, palo verde, acacia, etc.) is in May as they recover more quickly at this time.
Follow lazygardens advice on the watering and you won't need to prune as often. Your tree will grow more slowly and have stronger branches.
Thanks, I learned something new. I will follow the advice and cut back on watering. As for pruning I'm not going to touch it until I have too.
I am considering purchasing a large chilian mesquite tree for my back year. I have also considered a california pepper tree. Which is best tree?
It's difficult to recommend one over the other with so few details but I can offer some info from my new favorite book: "Pruning, Planting and Care by Eric A. Johnson"
Chilean Mesquite: Semi-evergreen, 30' high x 30' wide, Full sun, Hardy to 12F, Moderate water use. Mesquites in general require a large volume of soil area because they have rapid and aggressive root growth. Withoug enough soil area for roots to spread, serious problems occur, especially in windy areas. Trees will topple over. They also require adequate and deep moisture so those roots go deep, deep, deep. This way they will have a good anchor in windy times.
On the upside, mesquites are beautiful trees with interesting branch structure. They are hardy and use little water.
California Pepper: Evergreen, 25' high x 40' wide, full sun, hardy to 20F, full sun, low to moderate water use. Growth is rapid and branches hang to the ground. Use in open garden areas where competitive roots can spread freely. White summer flowers develop into clusters of red berries in winter. The challenge of this tree is also wind related when the trunks and branches become large. Quite often they are damaged by wind storms. Limb breakage causes trees to become unbalanced and exposes the trunk to decay. Prune to thin out excessive growth early in spring prior to hot weather.
I'M LOOKING FOR PRUINING INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY YEAR OLD CHILEAN
ants crawl up and down many different trees collecting honeydew caused by avid and other insects. ants will even cultivate avids and deposit avid babys in spring on the trees so the can collet the byproduct of avids(honeydew). usually this will not damage tree unless tree is already stressed or near death anyway. the honeydew reduces the photosynthesis process.