GOMOSIS: What It Is and Treatment - Gardening Guide

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Gummies is a fear-inspiring word for any gardener or tree gardener. It is one of the worst conditions that our trees can suffer but, fortunately, it is not always fatal and there are ways to combat and defeat it.

If you have already seen any symptoms in your woody plants such as shrubs and trees or you simply want to learn more about this disease, join us in this Green Ecologist article in which we talk about what is gum disease, its treatment and how to avoid it.

What is gummosis - a symptom of tree problems

To begin with, it must be specified that, despite what has been said above, gum disease is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom. It consists of the tree produces gummy amber secretions, which can arise directly from the bark or from some wounds in it. This rubbery material is soft at first, but eventually dries and hardens with exposure to wind and weather. Gummies prevent proper sap circulation, and it will cause different parts of the plant to start to dry out. In addition, trees affected by gummoses produce very small and undeveloped fruits, which end up falling prematurely.

Gum clumps are not always visible and it may be the case that a tree is secreting them below ground level, so in these cases we would only appreciate the rest of the symptoms: spoiled fruits and wilting of some parts.

It is an especially troublesome condition in fruit trees, which can cause great losses in plantations such as citrus. Find out more about citrus pests and diseases and their control in this other Green Ecologist article.

Causes of gum disease in trees

There are many causes that can produce gummosis in a tree, since this is, after all, an emergency measure that the tree takes to protect itself, sacrificing some of its parts and nutrients. To give an easy-to-understand example, the gummosis is for the trees like the fever for us: not a disease but a symptom of fighting against a disease or illness. Among the main causes are:

  • One of the most common is root asphyxia due to overwatering. When a plant is watered too abundantly, or when the soil does not have good drainage, the water collects and prevents the roots from absorbing the oxygen that the plant needs. This is particularly dangerous in summer, which is when plants are most stressed and need the most oxygen.
  • It may also be due to a fungal infection, either because there is too much humidity or because of having carried out a pruning with tools without disinfecting. For this type of thing it is vital to always disinfect our gardening tools before and after use.
  • Finally, some borer insects They can also be the cause of gummosis, since they injure the tree by burying themselves under its bark.

Gummosis: treatment

If the tree already shows symptoms of gummosis, there are some measures you can take to try to cure it. Follow these tips from treatment of gummies in trees, depending on the origin of the problem:

  • Take a knife or similar tool, disinfect it and carefully remove the dark sap area rubberized or hardened. Then, apply healing paste to the affected area, and repeat this same process every two weeks, until the tree stops producing gummy secretions and the symptoms stop.
  • If the problem is a fungal attack, it will be necessary apply fungicide, in the same way as insecticide or pesticide if the attack is by borers. In the latter case, you should be able to see the small holes once you remove the gummy substance.

If you need to apply a fungicide to your tree, we recommend that you use a natural one. Here are some recipes for homemade fungicides for fruit trees. In the case of insects, we recommend this other post on How to make natural insecticides for plants.

How to avoid gum disease in plants

The best, without a doubt, is prevention rather than cure. Taking the appropriate measures will save us scares with our plants, and the possible loss of some of them. Also keep in mind that gummosis can also affect woody shrubs, not just trees. In any case, these are the measures to take into account to prevent gum disease:

  • Don't water more than necessary. Especially in summer, which is when it is easier for root asphyxia to occur. It is preferable that you water more often than that you flood the entire field once every X days.
  • Ensures a good drainage. If your soil takes more than 15 minutes to absorb the water after watering, you have a drainage problem. It removes the soil, adds organic matter or even provides soil of a suitable composition. Unfortunately, it is not an easy or convenient solution problem, but a well-draining soil is necessary for a large number of plants.
  • Always disinfect your tools. A pruning done with no sanitizing tools can spread the problem to all the plants you work with later. Don't save on disinfectant.
  • Apply wound healing after pruning. This will prevent possible infections through an open wound.
  • And finally, pay what is necessary, no more no less. If you overdo it, the high amount of nitrogen in the soil could attract pests to your crop.

If you want to read more articles similar to Gummies: what it is and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Cultivation and care of plants.

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