Plant diseases

How to treat gum disease?

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 Phytophthora citrophthora fungus 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 set. 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.

The 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 yellowish veins
  • 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, it is necessary 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 poor pruning (in the untouched season and/ or using tools that have not been disinfected before use). We cannot 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 begin 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 pruning, it cannot 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 Fosetil or copper oxychloride, in spring and autumn following the indications specified on the package. Gummosis is not a disease that is too serious, but it is highly recommended to treat it in time to prevent the tree from weakening little by little.

Gummies can be effectively treated with 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 gummies attacked the almond trees the most. 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. In this way, the root achieves 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 gum disease 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 gum disease?

If we let this disease develop and do not treat it in time, a series of much worse problems occurs. When the disease begins it 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 long-term effects of gum disease that can be observed are the development of small, undeveloped fruits, fragile shoots with very little development, a yellowish tone to the leaves, small leaves and also 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.

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