How to Prevent the Jelly-Like Goo on a Peach Tree

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A pest infestation is the possible cause of oozing gum from a peach tree.
A pest infestation is the possible cause of oozing gum from a peach tree. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Peach is a native fruit of Asia and has been in cultivation for more than 2,000 years. Cited as the queen of fruit by The Ohio State University Extension, peaches rank second in popularity to apples. A successful harvest of peaches depends upon healthy cultural practices, which include timely pest management. An appearance of a jelly-like substance on trees is indicative of peach tree borer or lesser peach tree borer infestation, or mechanical injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Permethrin
  • Esfenvalerate
  • Endosulfan or chlorpyrifos
  • Pheromone traps (optional)
  • Captan fungicide
  • Mulch

Apply preventative trunk sprays to control peach tree borer before the larvae move inside the tree and white insects are still on tree bark. The Colorado State University Extension recommends the use of permethrin, esfenvalerate and carbaryl. Follow the label instructions for application rates and amounts.

Apply the pesticides to tree trunk in the first and second week of July. If pests are still visible around the tree after this date, make a second application in August. Pheromone traps also can be used to catch the adult insects.

Apply an extended residual activity insecticide for the control of the lesser peach tree borer. These insecticides are preventative in nature and are targeted to control pests before the hatching of eggs. The Ohio State University Extension recommends the use of chlorpyrifos or endosulfan. Follow the label instructions for application rates.

Apply the pesticide for lesser peachtree borer during the high time of adult flight, which generally is during early September. A single application often is sufficient to control light infestations of the pest.

Control fungal infections in tree wounds, as these are sometimes the cause of the jelly-like oozing substance on peach trees. The Texas A&M University Extension recommends using captan fungicide on new wounds or cuts to prevent the growth of fungus as tree heals. Apply per label instructions.

Remove the grass from very close to the tree and apply a layer of mulch if a lawn mower is inadvertently making nicks and cuts in the tree. Make the mulch layer deep enough to protect the areas of the tree that are exposed to the mower's intrusions.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use the insecticides on fruit when spraying the trunk or limbs to control peach tree borer or lesser peach tree borer. Do not use any insecticides on tree the within 21 days of harvesting fruit.

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