"Bleeding" ornamental cherry tree

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by philms, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. philms

    philms Member

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    About two months ago a substantial bough fell off our ornamental cherry tree, which is certainly 20+ years old. This increased the asymmery of the tree, leaving most of the large boughs confined to the west, downslope, side. At about the same time, the tree began to "bleed" from several points in the main trunk, about 2.5 m high, and one point close to the base of the largest south-facing branch. The "blood" looks like resin, and congeals in stalactites hanging from the bark. Is this a sign of ill health? Or is it an indication that the stresses induced by the asymmetrical branch load on the main trunk are splitting the trunk open. I should add that I have severely pruned the largest of the west-facing boughs in order to re-establish a degree of greater branch load symmetry.
     
  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I think a photo or two of your tree will be
    needed to evaluate this tree. You have me
    confused with the term "stalactites" as I
    equate that with a disease you surely do
    not want your Cherry tree to have. Is
    this a sign of ill health?
    Yes. Or is it an
    indication that the stresses induced by the
    asymmetrical branch load on the main trunk
    are splitting the trunk open.
    That would be
    an indication of ill health also. Let's see
    what the tree and the problem area(s) look
    like.

    Jim
     
  3. philms

    philms Member

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    Jim, Many thanks for your response. I fear the worst, especially as the bough that fell off earlier this year did so in calm weather. We have the reputation here in Sevenoaks for being "Only one oak now" after the hurricane of 1987.
    Attached are some annotated pictures of the problem. If they are not clear enough, I have the original frames at 300 dpi from which I can make enlargements.
    I look forward to hearing what you think.
    Many thanks for your interest - Phil
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Phil:

    You did a marvelous job with your photos of this
    tree. It is a pleasure indeed to see someone make
    the effort, take the time to show us what we need
    to see.

    I have reservations about sending you to this link
    below. It does somewhat show how I look and
    approach things.

    http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=8009

    I am no nonsense but the tree in the above link
    was an extreme case. The difference is that her
    tree will not last another 3-5 years without a
    some kind of effort to deal with her disease
    problems, one is fungal with the sporangia
    showing and the other is bacterial. Both
    cause cankers. The bacterial canker which
    is the least of the two worries with her tree
    is the same pathogen you have which is rather
    common in all forms of Cherries. This pathogen
    can be passed from tree to tree as a result of
    propagation and can even be passed from the
    parent to the offspring from seed.

    We cannot control the disease in your tree but
    we can suppress it. A certified arborist will have
    a slightly different means to go about dealing
    with your tree than I will have. I want to attack
    the disease and slow its spread if I can, whereas
    an arborist will want to maintain the integrity of
    the look of the tree while treating for the disease.
    Sometimes there is a clash is how we do things
    as maintaining the look may not remedy or help
    the situation as after we have some semblance
    of dealing with the disease we can worry about
    shaping the tree later is how I look at it.

    What I want you to see in that one thread is that
    you will want to use a dormant spray with a
    copper or calcium based fungicide. The Ziram
    as mentioned in that one thread will help in drying
    up the gummosis (stalactites) before we paint the
    truck and the crotches of the trees with preferably
    an oil based white paint. Linseed oil based paint,
    if you can still get it, will work. Please wear
    protective gloves and clothing when applying a
    linseed oil based paint. You will not need to use
    an insecticide as your tree is not showing any
    real insect damage.

    I am not concerned about the trunk and crotch
    of this tree. A good fungicide spray along with
    a good coat of white paint will help slow down
    the amount of gummosis that you are seeing.
    The areas that I have some concern about are
    where the large branch became weakened and
    fell off leaving a large sized injury, perhaps
    even an open cavity that years ago I would
    cover over with a tar like tree sealant without
    any hesitation after the wound has been cleaned
    up. You may want to have a professional come
    in and clean up any of the tree wounds before
    you use the fungicide spray and then paint.
    The large limb in the 4th photo bothers me
    the most as in time that limb will weaken and
    you risk it falling at a bad time. It will not
    take much to see the injury crack more and
    them wham, the whole limb falls off. It is
    that limb and the large wound where the
    previous limb fell is what I would want a
    professional to deal with. You may have
    to cut the large limb off back to the base of
    the tree. I know what this will do for the
    shape of the tree but what is more important,
    the losing the shape of the tree for several years
    or risk that limb falling because it will crack
    more and fall off at some time but thankfully
    this is not a fruiting Cherry whereby the weight
    of the fruit will exacerbate the weakening of the
    crack. I'd rather deal with the known problem
    before it happens rather than deal with the after
    effects of the limb falling off later. You should
    discuss this issue with a professional on the
    spot at your location. You can get by though
    for a few to several years by applying a fungicide
    paste in the cavity and then cover over with paint
    also. It may not be a bad idea to paint as much
    of the tree as you can, all the main structures of
    this tree but do not paint the 3 year old wood and
    younger. You may need to paint the tree again
    the next season.

    I was going to wait until later to write the above
    so I winged it from the hip for now.

    Best regards,

    Jim
     
  5. philms

    philms Member

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    Jim,

    Thank you very much for your lucid and lengthy reply to my post with pix. I'm glad you found them OK. Your advice is much valued.

    I should earlier have shown you the wound form the fallen bough, and also the stump from the pruned bough (now attached). I have to admit that neither look too healthy, so I'd better get going with the remedial action.

    I can add that this tree does fruit (for birds, not humankind) but the fruit is never on the tree for long in the spring such is the appetite of our avian community.

    Let me also add what a pleasure it is to use your bb. The whole look and feel of the site is excellent, and invites participation.

    Best regards - Phil
     

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  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Buckskin was my worst fear with Phil mentioning
    stalactites. Is not always seen on fruiting Cherries.
    It is WSU that has the fungal canker pegged in the
    Cherry fungus thread. The only good photos of
    that particular disease I've seen online.

    I am not seeing anything I did not expect to see
    from the coloration of the bark. Another worst
    fear I have and why I tend to always cover over
    the wound with a tar sealant, is to prevent the tree
    from getting deep bark canker. The practice of
    covering over the wound with a tree sealant today
    is looked down upon by most people but for not
    all of the right reasons as far as I am concerned.
    Using a tree sealant is totally optional for you
    Phil with your tree. Had the inner portion of the
    bark had a central ring become a brownish color
    and mushy to the touch due to the deterioration
    and rotting of the wood, we would have a real
    problem on our hands but I saw no indication
    of it from the leaves. An outer discolored ring
    is what I expected in the pruned stump photo.

    I'd still have a professional come in and look and
    evaluate this tree unless you feel comfortable doing
    everything yourself.

    The best time to paint the bark and limbs is in the
    Winter when you have enough warmth or sunlight
    for the paint to dry. Don't paint or apply a fungicide
    in freezing weather. Now is a good time to work on
    the bark wounds and injuries though to clean them up.
    Save any real pruning for when this tree is dormant.

    Best regards,

    Jim
     
  8. philms

    philms Member

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    First, thank you Ron B for the useful URL: a neat short summary.

    Second, thank you Jim for another lucid contribution, the most valuable part of which is your advice to contact an expert before making matters worse myself. I am indeed a "seedling" when it comes to things like this.

    Best regards - Phil
     

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