The Q&A Archives: Tree disease

Question: My fruitless plum tree is losing leaves and the bark has what looks like sap, worm shaped over most of the trunk and branches. Is this some type of disease? And if so, what can be done?

Answer: Plants don't normally leak sap unless they are damaged in some way. Sap oozing from trees can be heat related and nothing to worry about. Other possible causes are heat stress, mechanical damage, damage from borers and damage from diseases. Scrape away the sap to check for borer tunneling. If holes found, it's borers. If there are no holes it probally is just fungal gumosis which is not harmful to the tree. Sometimes this oozing can occur from bacterial canker so check for off-color bark and wood beneath the sap.

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