Peaches are a native fruit of Asia and are often referred to as the queen of fruit. Peaches rank second in popularity to apples among the deciduous fruits. The fruit is broadly classified as clingstone and freestone. A fungal disease causes trees to secrete a clear gelatin-like substance.
Peach trees are susceptible to cytospora canker disease caused by the cytospora fungi. The disease is more common in trees that are culturally stressed or are suffering from drought and frost damage. The fungus also enters trees through tree wounds and bark injuries.
The disease is characterized by the appearance of yellow-orange or black patches on trunk and branches. Affected areas secrete a gelatinous, gummy substance and gradually develop cankers or sunken dead spots. Small, black fungal fruiting bodies can be seen within the cankers. The fungal oozing increases under moist conditions. The infection girdles and kills branches.
Reducing stress on trees and keeping trees in vigorous health are among the preventative strategies for cytospora canker. Avoid injuring bark, limbs or roots to minimize risk of infection. Prune and remove infected areas with disinfected tools and allow tree tissues to dry.