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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - July 27, 2009

From: Killeen, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests
Title: What causes peach fruit to ooze sap?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a peach tree at our new house. The peaches are small and yellow but appeared healthy. Now it looks like they are oozing or weeping sap out of several places on each one. I dont know if its a disease or a pest or what to do about it. I am sure this year is a loss but is there anything I can do for next year?

ANSWER:

Peach, Prunus persica, is a non-native species and is outside our area of expertise.  However, we may be able to help some.  The culprit is likely Stinkbug, but other insects including Peach twig borer, Plum curculio, and Green June beetle are all possibilities.  A fungal disease is less likely based on your description of the problem. 

You should first contact your county's Cooperative Extension Service agent to find out how to positively identify the cause of the damage to your fruit.  When you have determined the ID of the pest, your extension agent will be able to make recommendations about how to protect your crop.

 

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