Almond tree trunk disease


We have a dozen almond trees in our land and in the recent years, leaking sap has become very common in most trees. Today I noticed this dark spot in the trunk, so I decided to dig deeper!

I noticed all kinds of dirt coming out of that cavity, and my interference caused an army of ants to vacate.

Could someone shed some light on what is happening here please, and most importantly how could I prevent this problem in the future.

Thank you!

That looks like a place where a limb died and the base rotted out leaving a hole. It’s not likely something caused by the ants.

If limbs are cut back do it so that the bark collar remains intact. The bark collar is the ring of bark at the base of a limb. It’s the part you scraped on around the hole. That should be left intact but no stub projecting out farther than the collar. It looks like you got down into the wood, not really the recommended practice.

Other than that there isn’t much you can do that I’m aware of.

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Thank you @fruitnut, here is a very similar spot where I can tell that ants might be inside, can you notice the tiny pieces ejected by them?

I didn’t cut the limbs myself, do you think in this case that the collar wasn’t respected?

I’m not sure what is going on there? But can agree with fruitnut, it’s not the ants. They are in there because the wood is dead, not the cause, just a great place for them to nest. Well at least here in Michigan how it is. Often in oaks and maples that are diseased. Ants here will not touch live wood, only making sawdust of dead wood. Something else killed the wood. I also agree that the removed limbs were cut too close, you must leave the collar. The cause could be mechanical, the removal of the collar when trimmed off caused the trunk to rot. This is why you leave the collar.

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I did trim more bark at other sap leaking spots… I found insects hiding underneath, I feel so bad for the tree. What is the official way to salvage a tree like this, it can still bear fruits by the way.

Here is the tree in full for reference.

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Wow, looks bad, not sure what is going on? Hopefully those more familiar with these problems can help. Nice photos, that really helps. If you could put under the :“About Me” in your profile, your location and zone that would help out. Click on my name and it will tell you where I’m at and what my hardiness planting zone is. It helps with plant suggestions, and tells us the environment you’re dealing with.

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You might try giving the trees a good dose of N and irrigate the tree appropriately. If you can increase the vigor, it will heal faster.

You might also spray some insecticide, or use Terro ant bait (crystal form) to kill the ants. It’s true carpenter ants won’t eat live wood, but by eating the dead wood out of the knot hole, they are making it hard for the tree to heal that spot over. Trees don’t heal over empty cavities very well at all.

Also be careful your clothes line doesn’t girdle those branches. If you leave your clothes line up all the time, you might take an old towel and wrap it several times around the limb as a cushion, then tie your clothes line.