New tree, gummosis?

New to the forum and to growing fruit trees, though I’ve been gardening most of my life.

I’ve wanted to have fruit trees for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve had a house where i knew i could stay long enough for them to grow. Tried for several years to purchase apricot trees from sites like fast growing trees and bare root trees, but either my timing was wrong, or it would be time for shipping in the spring and they would say “Sorry, we ran out”. So finally this year I just purchased some trees from Home Depot in the early spring.

They appear to be four year old trees, are generally doing well, and have even set fruit. But one of them appears to have gummosis. It started right when the tree broke dormancy. It is only on the bottom of the stem/trunk, near but not at the graft. Here is a photo:

At first i thought maybe it just got handled roughly in transport between the nursery and the store, but a second seeping spot appeared about a month after the first. Would rabbits be chewing on it? In the spring there is so much else for them, i sort of doubt it, but as i say i didn’t know much about fruit trees.

What should i do? Just leave it alone and see if it resolves? Cut out the part doing the seeping? Chalk it up to bad luck and buy a new tree next year? Treat it somehow?

I would love to save the tree if i can.



Welcome aboard.

Yes. It can be rabbits. We cage thoroughly here. But on a farm wild things can happen. Our herd of 24 goats were mad we only gave them hay during yesterday’s storm. We turned a corner after feeding the hogs; and all 24 are making a beeline for my dozens of apple and fig tree grafts. Talk about a panic moment! Thankfully just a few fig leaves were bitten before we arrived.

The gum is just your trees reaction to damage.

Good to know. We do have a lot of rabbits in the yard. I feared i had purchased diseased trees from HD. I’ll try putting rabbit cages around this tree and the other one (which shows no issues yet) to see if that resolves the gummosis.

For how many years do you think they would need cages?


I just use chicken wire or hardware cloth and make 8" cages and leave them. When they get bigger then that I’d put a white wrap or paint the trunk. I’m real big on painting over tree wounds quick with a natural latex paint of tree paint.

On cages be sure to anchor them. Some rabbits are smart enough to weasel in if not anchored.

Okay well I hope it’s that easy! I flared the bottom two fence strands out, and buried them under a few inches of dirt and mulch. That has worked so far for my berries. Rabbits seem to have plenty to eat without hurting their paws on buried wires.

Hope it works!


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Oh, do I need to put something on the wounds to keep them from getting infected?


Stonefruit could weep from trunks after big rain also.

I do not want to burst your bubbles. Where do you live?

Have you read this thread.

Apricot tree death in the northeast

In some areas, like the Northeast, keeping apricot trees alive can be challenging.

Once they survive, their blooms may get wiped out by late frost as apricots tend to bloom too early for its own good.

I don’t think that’s a rabbit damage. For stone fruit, oozing gummy substance can be anythings from too much water/rain, physical injury to the tree, to canker issue, etc.

If it is canker, make sure you keep your tree healthy so it could fight off the disease and recover.

Home Depot should provide an exchange for free if you have your receipt. Clearly sold as an unhealthy one!
Worth trying
Kent, Wa

I would not claim Home Depot sold the OP a diseased tree. Any stone fruit can develop canker (if that’s canker). I don’t know what is the refund policy of trees from HD these days. It used to be a year.

Gabe, Avoid ordering bare root trees from Fast Growing Tree nursery. It is way over priced. When you want to order fruit trees, check nurseries in this link. You need to order trees in the fall or winter. The nurseries will mail them out in the spring.

Ordering in the spring is quite late. Now is late. Not much left in the stock. Knowing what rootstock a tree is on is important. So far, my apricot on a manchurian rootstock has done well for me.

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It’s hard to say if that is canker or physical damage. Canker sap usually gets cloudy and darkens. In any case there isn’t much to do other than make sure it doesn’t dry out too much and give a little bit of fertilizer.

I got a peach tree from Plant Me Green last year and it had horrible canker when I bought it (this was the replacement, the first one died). It still has lots of canker but is starting to get going … maybe it will make it. Canker is usually not a deal breaker on all but cherries … cherries it can easily kill. Which reminds me, I need to prune more cankers out of my Black Tartarian. I have 20-year-old peaches that have had canker for at least 15 of those years. It cuts down on the vigor but rarely kills the tree.


I just found out two days ago that a branch of my Freckle Face nectarine was killed by canker. The oozing was in two sections of this scaffold.

Here’s the serious cankered part of the scaffold.

The branch above that dIseased section was dead.

Wow that’s pretty bad! I never get big blobs like that on a peach, only smaller ooze. The cloudy nature of that ooze shows it is canker for sure.

That branch got it bad. I did not notice it until the top did not wake up.
I will saw that section off and hope the canker won’t spread to the whole tree.

Freckle Face nectarine is a fabulous variety.

Thanks for all the replies, and for the link to that thread on growing apricots in NE.

Regarding canker being a darker color and cloudy, sounds like i may not have that, as the stuff coming from my tree is a sort of light orange color, and sort of translucent, like jelly.

Regarding NE being a tough place to grow apricots, that’s too bad. I guess I’ll jus see what happens. These are on a hill, so drainage should be good, and they get a ton of sun. So fingers crossed.

I just planted them this march, and amended the soil when I did, so i don’t know if it still makes sense to give this one additional fertilizer?