Is this peach tree borer damage?

sun_worshiper(FL 9b)May 13, 2011

About a week ago, I notices what looks like small gouge marks and splits in the bark of my Tropic Sweet peach tree's trunk. It is a new tree that I planted last fall. I'm trying to figure out if this is peach tree borer holes or if there is some other cause.

These were the first holes to show up. They are the most worrying because they are right at the graft.

This one is about half way up the trunk.

Most of them are not bleeding any sap, only 1 that started out looking more like a split in the bark than a gouge has sap bleeding from it. This one is near the top of the trunk:

The holes do not seem to be deep, and I don't see any bugs inside them. I've dug the soil back from the base of the tree and inspected it and don't see any damage below the soil line. And I've not seen any insects on or around the holes. Any idea what is going on? More holes seem to be forming, so it seems like something I need to treat, but

I'm not sure what it is.

Anybody know what is going on? Do I need to treat this? If so, what sort of treatment?



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franktank232(z5 WI)

If it was a borer I would think you would be seeing some sawdust mixed in with sap.

I've had borers (two types here) kill young peach trees, but those were always right below the soil line.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 7:12AM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Thanks for the input Frank. I definitely don't see sawdust, so hopefully that means it isn't borers. What else can cause this type of damage? Do peach trees get splits in their trunks naturally when they grow really fast? This one has certainly been growing very rapidly this year.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 8:17PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Peach trees are naturally very fast growers (at least the ones I've grown). I grow a lot of stonefruit (peaches, nectarines, sweet cherries, apricots) and I see a lot of cracks/etc on my trees. I do know that at least up here, bacterial canker is a problem, and there isn't much to stop that other then cutting it out or starting over.

I'd say the tree looks fine. Hopefully its loaded with fruit.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 11:17PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Thanks Frank. Good to know that cracks are normal on peach trees. I looked up bacterial canker, and don't have anything that looks like that. But good to know what to keep an eye out for.

No fruit this year, it is the first year for this tree. So I'm working on shaping it this year and didn't let it fruit.

Here it was in February after the initial shaping prune:

And here it is now - I can't believe how much it has grown!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 9:54AM
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gardengimp(9B Seminole Cnty FL)

Wow Angela, that is gorgeous! We've just put our Christmas Twig (Tropic Beauty) in the ground. Hopefully she will continue like yours.

That is agapanthus in the background, yes? And what is that in the foreground? I'm working on the circle bed today in fact. Going to plant some sweet potato to help with soil improvement but have been thinking of what I really want to plant around her.

I was reading about fruit tree guilds, that was kind of interesting.


    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 3:14PM
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marinfla(10 South Florida)

Sun worshiper that tree really looks great. the before and after pics are impressive

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 4:42PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I agree with Marin...that tree is very nicely shaped. Great job with the pruning SunW!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:17PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Thanks Dianne, Marin & Pug!

Dianne, you are correct, that is agapanthus in the background. In the foreground is Ruby Grass (Melinus nerviglumis). I'd highly recommend both. Both are perennial & need no cold protection (in FL). Wasn't clear how well the Ruby Grass would handle cold - but it did great. It is a "warm season" grass and does much better here than some of the other types of dwarf fountain grasses like "Hamlyn".

I'm not sure I followed any of the fruit tree guild information I found, but more did my own thing. But the idea is the same. For instance since mangos really shouldn't get any supplemental watering, but in my yard will be subjected to the lawn sprinklers, I seated them next to plants that are water hogs with the theory that the other plants will suck up the extra moisture leaving the mangos with the amount they need instead of too much.

I've been meaning to post a yard update with pictures. Since we've sort of switched topics, I think I'll do that and then we can that thread to talk about landscaping around fruit trees. So look for that coming soon=)

    Bookmark   May 17, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Sun worshipper, how has your tree done so far? I have a similar (?) ailment, although it looks worse than yours.

Here is a link that might be useful: peach issue

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 12:50PM
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sun_worshiper(FL 9b)

Hi Tom. So far my tree is holding - getting a few more of these gouges, but don't seem to be impacting the overall tree health. I think I am going to order some tanglefoot online and give that a try. I have spotted a couple moths near my tree. One was grey and the other was green. Both very small (smaller than a penny). Still not convinced this is borer damage, but the tanglefoot won't hurt the tree and might help me figure out what the issue is. Anyone who's used tanglefoot before - which one exactly do I want? I am trying to figure out exactly what to order. I'll have to order online, haven't been able to find it locally.

Your tree's problem looks different from mine. A much deeper hole and more discolored. Good luck resolving it!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 11:11AM
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