Borer or Other problem?

ohquantanzeewonJune 19, 2013

Hello - In my front yard, I have a nice 15 foot tree (not sure what kind) that is dipping sap at the base like crazy. It is particularly bad on one side and is getting worse.

I used the Bayer Advanced insect formula last fall and again in April but it seems to have had no impact.

I dont want to lose this otherwise healthy tree - what should I do - call experts to treat it? Is it definitely an insect issue?

I really appreciate your expert opinions and can post more pics if needed. Thanks! Jen

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It's a birch tree. No way to tell what species or cultivar from the photo. The oozing area is not typical of the usual borers which attack birches. What does seem significant in the photo is the branch emerging from the base. It's possible that this is a grafted tree and the growth is coming from the understock. The depth of mulch also seems excessive and is right up against the trunk. This is an invitation to fungal infections and pests.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 5:50AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

looks like prunus to me..

and it looks like gummosis ... which i think is bacterial .. or viral ...

it is hard to define the cause and effect ... as the disease could be oozing out a borer hole ...

so your use of an insecticide was useless ... if my speculation is right

we need to ID the tree... leaf and bark will get that ..

the tree is also telephone poled .. i see no root flare .. and that might be the root of the problem.. as trunk bark is not made to be underground in soil... it stays too damp ...

more pix please ...


ps: prunus would include ornamental cherry &plum, and a lot of the fruit trees ... of which i hope you arent eating anything off a tree you used a systemic on ...'

pps: its been a long time since i read the label on bayer systemic tree and shrub [if that is what you used] .... but i dont recall it being labeled for two treatments in 6 months??? .. though i could be wrong ...

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Prunus, from the leaves and the way the shoot comes out of the trunk. These are prone to borers and all kinds of bugs, but the good news is that they can live many years with all manner of injury and insect infestations. Keep the tree growing and the problem will be minimized.

You can spend a lot of money every year and keep the plant will last 40 years, or just keep it healthy and growing without treatments and it will last 30 years. The fact is, most of the decorative cherry-type ornamentals are fairly short lived trees. Enjoy them for what they offer, but to see a 75 year old Prunus grown for an ornamental is rare. The ones in D.C. that are 100 years old are fawned over by a crew of arborists, and even then only a few from the 1912 planting are alive today,

Also, one thing that is generally not known is that the first batch of trees given by the Japanese in 1909 was destroyed because they were buggy, full of nematodes. President Taft authorized their being burned. We've come a long way since 1909, but the trees themselves are still prone to nematodes and bugs.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 9:22AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

oh crikey.. i didnt even see he was poking it with a leafed branch .. lol

please refer to the link for how i took care of a prunus .... after watching it for 10 years ... lol .. and i surely did NOT spend good money on it ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Thanks for all the info. Here is a shot of the tree.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:31PM
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another picture ....

its the one in the front. The one in the back has a mulch volcano around it but the HOA maintains it.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Here is a picture of the opposite side of the problem area.

The mulch is not too deep although it looks deep because of the angle of the picture. It sits on a slight hill with good drainage. The trees roots are well established and stretch across the front yard. They are close to the surface and occasionally have sprouts off the roots.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:38PM
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Here is one more picture of the problem spot.

The tree is about 9 or 10 years old.

If its a borer infestation should I be worried about it spreading to my other landscaped plants - shrubs, roses, etc.?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 6:43PM
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The light color of the bark in the first photo misled me - it's prunus. It's still not clear to me if the leafy branch is emerging from the understock or being used as a pointer. In any case, if it is an ornamental prunus chances are it was budded or grafted. The understock and graft union seems to be buried in mulch and/or soil. The fact that the roots are visible and throwing root suckers probably means that the soil is overly compacted and roots are near the surface because there is no oxygen at lower depths. Anything you can do to insure healthy growth will help, but as others have noted all prunus are very prone to various ills and the best you can probably do is wait and watch.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 5:39AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

borers.. which i am doubting you have... are highly plant specific.. they will not spread around ... unless you actually have other prunus around...

the tree is dying.. IMHO ... if you read my note above.. including the info at the link ... it took 10 years for the plum to die ... and even at that... it was pagan sacrifice ... not actual suicide ...

i suggest you quit wasting time, money and effort.. drenching it in chemicals ... its just not worth the insult to mother earth ...

ignore it..

and if you cant.. get rid of it.. and look for something else ..

and when you get it.. plant it properly ... its telephone poled.. and it is suffering for that ... second pic above this.. i can see where next years expansion of the wound will be.. just to the left.. and a bit higher ...

you know.. frankly .. if this is out front of the house.. and you will see it every time you come and go.. and there is going to be some niggling irritation... i have been know to just get rid of the darn thing.. to lower my blood pressure ... and impress the neighbors with my manliness .. lol ..

the next proper planting season is probably fall .. not JULY/AUGUST ....


    Bookmark   June 21, 2013 at 7:05AM
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