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Cherry Tree Problem

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by Amigatec on October 10, 2005 02:39 AM
I have 2 cherry trees in front of my house. At the base I have English Ivy growing. I cleared away some of the English Ivy from the base and noticed that I appear to have a lot of wood missing from the base of the tree where the graft was made.

Is this normal or should I remove the English Ivy?

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by peppereater on October 16, 2005 03:16 AM
Hello, fellow Okie! It sounds like you should remove the ivy, but I could help you a lot more if you could get a picture. Mice and other vermin could hide in the ivy, and it could keep the trunk from drying out, thus encouraging fungal growth, but then again, it may not be harming anything. It may be that you have something going on that has nothing to do with the ivy. Can you give a detailed description?
by Amigatec on October 17, 2005 05:22 AM
Here are some pictures of the problem.

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One OS to rule them, one OS to find them:
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Redmond where the shadows lie.
by peppereater on October 17, 2005 10:37 AM
Thanks for the pics. That is very severe damage, and I would definitely remove the ivy. This is certainly damage from the peach tree borer, which attacks cherries as well. Exposing the trunk will allow insect and bird predators a chance to eat the moths, their egss and the larva that then bore into the tree. It may even be that some of that damage was from someone getting carried away with a weedeater in the past, and that weakened the tree initially and made it more susceptible to borers, but either way, you have a serious problem. Gently clean away some of the looser bark and the gummy sap that's leaking out, and see if you can find obvious holes. If so, try poking a fine wire in to kill the borers, although they may not be there this late in the year. Lightly feed the trees after leaf fall with an organic fertilizer such as compost (if you have some), commercial mushroom compost or that sort of thing. Don't allow them to get stressed from drought. As for insecticide, I have yet to find the safest, best product...I would never use toxic poisons on fruit or food crops. I would go to the Organically Speaking section of this site, or look up peach borers on the web or at the state extension site. Good luck, Amigatec!

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