OLd Weeping Cherry Tree with canker

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by barb1948, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. barb1948

    barb1948 Member

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    Greenwich, CT USA



    003_3.jpg I have a very old -25 yrs? Weeping cherry that is showing a lot of the amber gum stuff and I understand is call ed canker? I have tried to remove the bark that is curling and the gum so that there are no hidden spots for further disease, but as I go along it seems it's quite infested around the trunk. I have stopped and need help with what I can do to halt this disease or control it. Can I paint the areas that I cleaned? Clorox? My landscaper says it will die in a couple of years. It still blossoms, and the leaves are fine. branches are old and knarly, but seem ok. Here are some photos. I hate to loose it....I recently moved to CT from NY and not very experienced with gardening, but I have to get into it-- everyone here is ! thank you, Barbara
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    WA USA (Z8)
    Top looks pretty full and green. Treatments might be helpful if you think you know what the causal agent is and a specific treatment for it. Part would depend on how rotten and weak the heartwood is or becomes. Even if you do get substantial new growth of wood back over the huge canker if tree breaks off before enough has formed it will still have been lost despite the turnaround - it will take quite a bit of this new wood to make it able to hold itself up should the core be gone.
  3. barb1948

    barb1948 Member

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    Greenwich, CT USA
    What kind of treatments are available for this situation? How would I go about lookin further into this?
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    As Ron pointed out the top growth appears to
    be fine for now. The trunk of the tree does
    need some work to cover over the huge wet
    lesion that caused some separation of the bark.
    It is not the Bacterial canker that concerns me
    the most, it is what can come about afterwards
    such as various borers such as Flathead (trunk)
    and Shothole borers (trunk and side branches)
    that will come in and attack even a marginally
    weakened tree.

    The biggest concern to be wary of that can come
    about later on is Armillaria root rot and that will
    result in the death of the tree once the fungus gets
    fully established right at the graft union if there is
    one (does appear to be a union of two woods) or
    at trunk level right at the soil line.

    If the tree was mine and I let it get this far along I'd
    want to some tree sealant to fill in the large lesion.
    I'd want to spray the entire trunk and the crotch of
    the tree with an organophosphate spray - Diazinon
    will work but if you have borers in the trunk then
    you will want a high powered spray such as Lindane
    or Isotox of which both may be very hard to find.

    I've used Creosote mixed in with water and hand
    painted (using a paint brush) on over the lesions
    for native Pines and introduced Ornamentals and
    have had success keeping the Flathead borers from
    moving further up and deeper into the tree and
    closed off their exit strategy with the Creosote
    mixture along with some hot tar, that I came in
    with later after the painting dried and covered
    over the entire lesion.

    For this Cherry I would want either the Creosote
    or a systemic insecticide spray (wear protective
    gloves and clothing for both) to spray the entire
    trunk with more emphasis directed towards the
    lesions. Apply the spray then come back in with
    the tree sealant and cover over the big lesion trying
    to fill in the indention and leaving a sealant covering
    that matches up evenly with the bark. I use a putty
    knife to do just this. After the sealant dries, check
    for any sunken areas that you may get and fissures
    where the sealant and the wood meet are separating.
    If the separation is more than an inch, an inch wide
    vertical crack then you may want to seal over that
    crack. Otherwise leave it as is and then paint over
    the entire trunk all the way to the ground, the whole
    crotch area and paint in a circle about a foot to two
    feet of the two major side limbs. To protect the top
    growth you may want to invest in a Copper or Calcium
    based fungicide. I mention products by name sparingly
    in an online forum format but you can buy a good
    systemic over the counter fungicide soil drench at
    a local Home Depot, Lowes or perhaps even a
    Wal-Mart or you can check and see if they also
    carry a good wettable powder, (50WP) mixed
    with water, fungicide spray for Cherries, Fruit
    and Nut trees and Ornamental trees, both with
    a Bayer name on the labels.

    If you tend or decide not to, to the damaged
    areas with a sealant or the Creosote, give this
    tree a systemic fungicide spray or a soil drench,
    paint over the tree with a white latex paint (may
    require two coats), provide a complete (one that
    has Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium in the
    formulation) fertilizer for this tree in the Spring,
    give this tree a pre-bloom light oil and fungicide
    dormant spray every year, prune off any browned
    growth in the canopy as soon as you see them,
    then I see no reason why this tree cannot live for
    another 15-20 years for you.

    Note: I have no knowledge of the history of this
    tree and any prior symptoms of disease such as
    Cherry Crinkle, Buckskin, Fireblight, even Eutypa
    (Dead-arm) can be found on some Cherries and
    Ceratocystis canker but by the look of the top
    growth there does not appear to be recent blast
    or blight damage from various strains of topical
    Pseudomonas which tells me other than the fact
    you do have clear cut evidence of an internal
    Bacterial canker caused by Pseudomonas syringae
    in the plants system, as seen in the trunk, you
    may not have enough of it elsewhere to kill this
    tree. By itself the Bacterial canker form you have
    in the tree usually does not kill it, it is what can
    come about later that can be lethal to this tree.
    All signs point to a tree that is reasonably healthy
    otherwise. You should not lose this tree in a
    couple of years even if you maintain it as is and
    just give this tree a latex paint coating but you
    do risk a secondary invader coming in at some
    time (although the painting should preclude a
    Flathead borer from coming in but will not stop
    a Shothole borer from attacking side branches)
    and that organism or borer insect can either kill
    the tree in short order or debilitate the tree over
    time, whereby the tree decimates into nothingness
    after you prune out all of the diseased, infested
    and/or deadened limbs and side branches in the
    top growth.

  5. barb1948

    barb1948 Member

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    Greenwich, CT USA
    All I can say is Wow! I came to the right place. Can't thank you enough. I love this tree and since I have moved from the city to the country, I'm am trying to learn as much as I can. The reason the problem has gotten this far, isa a lack of knowledge: I thought the gum was some sort of tree sap and very normal.
    So thank you. By the way , there does not seem to be any problems with the branches or leaves, so I'm grateful for that.
    Thanks again. Barbara
  6. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    Beaverton, Oregon
    It may have been not one problem, but two.

    Does the long wound face the sun?

    At least the top looks okay.

    If nothing else, the tree has character.
  7. barb1948

    barb1948 Member

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    Greenwich, CT USA
    Long wound does not face the sun. Is that good or bad?
    I'm having trouble cutting the bark back to meet the good in-tact area of tree trunk in some areas. I don't know how far to go. If i cut out all the gum-goo areas, it would be 1/2 way around the trunk and about 1 yard from the ground. Is it critical to get all the gum-goo gone before going forward with other treatments?
    thanks. The tree is a beauty- sits in front of house built in 1929
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    San Joaquin Valley, California
    You can stop working on the gummosis
    anytime now prior to you giving this tree
    a disease and insect suppressant painting.

    Most people will not like my approach to
    dealing with this disease and that is fine
    by me, although I've dealt with trees like
    this and ones worse off than this tree is
    now. The most important task to do is the
    painting. The insecticide spray is entirely
    optional, so is the soil drench to prevent
    or suppress a possible later occurring Oak
    root fungus. The topical fungicide spray
    is also not required but may come in very
    handy for you, prudent to use as a dormant
    spray in most areas where edible and
    Flowering Cherries are grown.

    You may want to contact your nearest
    Connecticut Cooperative Extension
    System Center. Use this link below
    to help locate the closest office to
    you and ask them what they would
    do for your tree and who they would
    recommend to come out and check
    for borer activity in the trunk and
    in the side branches, as well as give
    an assessment of what needs to be
    done to this tree now and years down
    the road to better maintain and protect
    the top growth you have now.

    Connecticut Cooperative Extension System

  9. barb1948

    barb1948 Member

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    Greenwich, CT USA
    When looking for a tree pruning sealant, I am told that a product like"TangleFoot" Latex sealant is the way to go, yet it seems to be a liquid that you spread on with their own brush. It does not seem to be a paste that you put on to "fill-in" the pruned area so that the material is flush with the bark. Which product should I be looking for please? I did find a good Systemic Fungicide, and now ready for sealant. Also, in case anyone is interested in following my plight- I read that a sympton of blight is if the leaves at the tips of branches are brown and dead..and yes- that's exactly what I see. Is this a different disease than Canker? Many thanks.....

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