Cambium miners' effect on standing cherry

      A woodlot pest causes gummosis in cherry. June 21, 2000

Our cherry in mid-state NY seems to have a lot of pitch or gum in it. What is the cause of this?

I've seen whole areas of cherry that have been logged off and sold as split firewood. I prefer to take my chances, to cut around the stuff after I saw the boards.

I've talked with a veneer buyer who says the cause of gum streak in cherry is an insect infestation.

This is usually due to logging from early spring to mid-summer. Logging slash is ideal for the bugs' nesting sites. They then go and overwinter in the residual stand of cherry, attacking the bark, and causing gum streak. He said he could go back on an infected tree and predict the last logging occurance. Anyone know which bug?

Bugs are also the cause of sugar streak in hard maple.

I find this explanation interesting. I live in NE Illinois in an area which has wetlands mixed with island-like patches of oak and hickory. There is a fair amount of cherry mixed in with the oak and hickory.

Many of these areas have been overrun with non-native plant species that cover the forest floor and kill off the native plants. It is in these areas that I have noticed that all of the cherry seems to be diseased and gummed up. My theory is that the increase in foliage at the lower end of the forest causes an increase in humidity and a decrease in light. This in turn leads to what is probably a fungal infection of the cherry.

Is this area you describe in NY overrun with buckthorn or some other species of ground cover?

The gum canals that we are talking about here are called Traumatic Lysigenous Canals. Traumatic means from the result of injury or wound; in the case of cherry, that means cambium miners. "Lysigenous" canals are those formed as the result of disintegration (gummosis) of the cell walls.

Gene Wengert, forum moderator

My mother has a domestic cherry of some type. Her tree has gummosis and I suggested spraying the tree with Lindane. I assumed the problem was some type of bug. Our extension's handbook has nothing about gummosis.

So, to your knowledge, would Lindane or Dursban be a good treatment? Of course, I'd keep the spray off of the foliage. When do these cambium borers enter and exit a tree?

I do not know about the life cycle of the cambium miners or which insecticide would work. Once they are in the cambium area, you cannot spray for them until they exit the wood, so insect control may be limited. You need to ask someone in tree pathology in forestry.

I am a veneer buyer in northcentral Pennsylvania. I have seen my share of gummy logs.

A lot of times if you cut logs that are growing on ridge tops or on top of hills they will have a lot of gum in them. This is, as Gene said, caused by damage to the tree. Trees on top of the hills get hit hard with wind, snow, ice, etc. Once you get down off the hills where the trees are better protected from the wind and ice the trees in general will be less gummy.

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