When we have trees we would like them to always be healthy, but based on my experience I can tell you that they are, after horticultural plants, the most vulnerable plants to pests and diseases that exist. During the first months of life both fungi and insects can kill them in a matter of days; and when they are adults, unless they have everything they need they could succumb to the attack of, for example, screwworms. But if there is something that worries us more it is the gum.
This fungal disease (caused by fungi) is a very serious problem, since it is not normal for plants to secrete gum. Let’s see what it is and how we can prevent gum disease.
What is it?
It is a disease caused by the fungus Phytophthora citrophthora that develops on the trunk and branches of plants, especially woody ones. Thus, we can see that these secrete gummy substances that have an amber color, which at first will be soft, but that with the passage of time and the effects of the wind and the sun will harden.
And it is that in most of the trees that are classified as bone trees it is very common for this gummy resin to appear in different parts of the trunk and bark. This gummy substance is nothing more than the resin that has been curdled. It is known that it is not a disease in itself but it is a serious and obvious symptom that something is not working well. When we see that our tree begins to have these gummy substances, there are some problems that we must solve.
Gummosis can also originate from fungal infections, invasion by harmful insects and other pathogens that come into contact with the tree through the areas that are most vulnerable. For example, they can enter the parts that have been pruned, in poorly made grafts, some blows or cuts, etc.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of gummosis are as follows:
- Gum secretion from branches and / or trunk
- Death of branches affected by dehydration
- The leaves acquire a light green tone with a yellowish vein
- The fruits do not develop (they stay small and fall)
Although it is necessary to investigate everything necessary to discover the origin of the gummosis, you have to act in the shortest possible time and scrape and clean the area. One of the treatments that are carried out more quickly to avoid further damage to the tree is to remove the remains of bark and matter that are infected until a light green color can be observed.
It is advisable to use healing products or pastes on the affected surface. These products will help stop the disease.
What are the causes?
The most common cause is poorly done pruning (in the untouched station and / or using tools that have not been disinfected before use). We can’t see them, but viruses, bacteria and fungi can adhere to the tools we use; Hence, it is so important to clean them after use, otherwise we could put the life of the plant at risk.
In addition, if they are cuts made in branches that are beginning to lignify or that are already woody, it is highly recommended to close the wound with healing paste (like this one here, for example).
But apart from the pruning nor can it be ruled out that the plant itself is weak. Often, if not treated in time, an infestation can become a more serious problem when combined with fungi.
How is it treated?
With fungicides, such as Fosetyl or copper oxychloridein spring and autumn following the indications specified on the packaging. Gummosis is not a disease that is too serious, but it is highly recommended to treat it in time to prevent the tree from gradually weakening.
Gummies can be effectively treated with a sufficient fertilizer in the field, the fungicides that we have mentioned above and some products that include their components to treat them better.
There are some areas of Spain where the gum disease most attacked almond trees. In these areas a kind of special treatment is carried out. And it is that the professionals were around the trunk of the almond tree leaving some parts of the roots in the air. Thus, the root gets good aeration. With the earth that is extracted when digging around the trunk, a barrier is formed that will prevent excess rainwater from entering the trunk and roots. Thanks to this type of treatment, it is possible to detect the first symptoms of gummosis and apply the products with copper oxychloride in a proportion of approximately 1%.
If spraying is to be carried out in the garden, a good spraying of a suitable product in the spring and autumn times gives good results for prevention. And it is that most of the time it is better to prevent the disease than to try to cure it.
What happens if we don’t treat the gummosis?
If we allow this disease to develop and do not treat it in time, much worse problems occur. When the disease begins is favored by a greater amount of humidity in the environment. This is how dimensions are formed with that rubbery character. When you are gout, the cider gets bigger and bigger so the whole area of the affected area.
If we do not treat it in time, it can continue to affect the sap necessary for the plant to grow. In addition, the roots that are under the most affected area do not receive the already prepared sap and it ends up drying.
Some of the effects that can be observed of the gummosis in the long term is the development of small, undeveloped fruits, fragile shoots with very little development, a yellowish hue to the leaves, small blades and also of a yellow color. Finally, in the last phase of this disease, the lesions that are produced throughout its development leave visible scars that will surround the entire area that has been affected.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about gum disease and its treatment.