Phytophthora Gummosis: What Is It and How Can I Prevent It?

Phytophthora gummosis is one of the most common diseases found in trees on both residential and commercial properties. Phytophthora affects multiple types of trees and is especially damaging to citrus groves. This disease attacks the entire tree, including its root systems, and it can kill a tree within a year.

Phytophthora gummosis is one of two types of Phytophthora. Symptoms of this disease include small cracks in the tree’s bark from which sap oozes. Eventually, the bark becomes dry and falls away. Lesions spread around the trunk, and the tree’s leaves become yellow and fall.

How does Phytophthora gummosis spread?

Phytophthora fungi are present in almost all landscapes. Under moist conditions, the fungi produce motile zoospores, which make their way onto tree trunks. Phytophthora gummosis thrives in cool, moist conditions such as:

  • Flood irrigated lots
  • Drip emitters placed near tree trunks
  • When grass sprinklers wet the tree bark for long periods

Because Phytophthora gummosis spreads rapidly in these conditions, it’s important to optimize citrus tree care and health by managing your water usage. Water shouldn’t be allowed to hit the tree trunk regularly, especially for extended periods. Water also shouldn’t be left to stand around the crowns of a tree.

How can you prevent Phytophthora gummosis?

Water management is vital for proper citrus tree care. Drainage needs to be provided in low spots in your orchard, especially in areas that are prone to flooding. It’s also important to be careful when mowing your grove so as not to harm or cut your tree’s bark. Any gap left in the bark of your trees creates an opening Phytophthora to enter.

Another way you can protect your trees against Phytophthora is with soil treatments. When you apply soil treatments early and often in the tree’s life, it can help to prevent disease and stimulate rapid recovery from disease. Well-maintained trees and shrubs can increase your property value by 14% and can reduce your grove’s risk of tree-related illness.

Seek out professional tree care services

Sometimes treating your grove for disease prevention and recovery can be overwhelming. Professional citrus tree care and maintenance services can help to keep your tree grove safe and secure against potential disease and other risks. Tree care services understand how to give your citrus trees the proper nutrition, irrigation, and treatment needed to fight off Phytophthora gummosis and other diseases that could damage your grove.

Trees for Needs has a newly certified arborist on our team. Andy Cruz, Certified Arborist WE-10071A, will help us help you keep your tree grove happy and healthy all year long. Whether you’re looking to prevent Phytophthora gummosis or other diseases, Trees for Needs has the experience you need to protect your trees.

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