The Q&A Archives: Bearrs lime trunk has small cracks with amber sap oozing(gummosis?)

Question: I live in Palm Springs, Ca. and have a Bearss lime tree that has small cracks on the trunk with amber sap oozing out of these cracks. Also, two lower branches are starting to lose their leaves and I've only bought the tree a year and a half ago.I have been advised by a local nursery that this could be gummosis and they suggest using a bordeaux mixture to treat the tree with. Can you advise what your thoughts are on this problem and is the Bearss lime tree not the best lime tree for the Palm Springs, Ca.?

Answer: While it's possible your tree has developed gummosis, bordeaux spray (lime sulphur) should not be sprayed on the leaves; they will burn. Bordeaux is typically used during the dormant season on deciduous trees, not on evergreens such as your lime tree. Without seeing the problem I can only share information of a general nature. Phytophthora gummosis, a fungal disease, causes sap to ooz from small cracks in the trunk. Lesions spread around circumference of trunk, girdling tree. Decline may occur rapidly or occur over several years. To control, excise the diseased bark and paint with copper.

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