Brazilian Pepper Tree trunk problem - Knowledgebase Question

Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9A)
Question by vcr603
August 25, 2006
I have had this pepper tree for 4 yrs now. It's trunk started to crack 2 yrs ago. There are now a number of cracks all around the middle of the trunk, but only in one area.Every summer sap leaks down it and it continues now. when that starts new growth appears near the base. It seems like it is under stress...can you advise what I need to do or what is wrong with the tree?

Answer from NGA
August 25, 2006


Your tree will produce splits or fissures in the bark if it is under strees, especially from over-watering or poorly draining soil. There's not much you can do to stop the sap from flowing other than correct the condition that caused the splits. Once you adjust your watering or fix the drainage, the trunk should heal itself and stop oozing sap. The new growth you see at the base are called suckers - they grow from the roots of Brazilian Pepper Trees. Keep them cut down to maintain a single trunked tree. If you allow the suckers to grow, they will eventually become trees and colonize the entire area with many pepper trees.

Best wishes with your pepper tree!

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