Peach crown gall on trunk

Q: I planted three peach trees last year and one of them has a growth about ten inches off the ground. I want to prune the trees this year to get the canopy growing correctly but am concerned about this growth. It is very hard to the touch.

A: I don’t have good news.

The gall is caused by a soil-borne bacteria, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The common name for it is crown gall.

The bacteria usually infects trees through a small wound.

It then travels up the trunk and down into the roots, sometimes before you see the gall form on the plant.

Even if you scrape this gall off the trunk, other galls will appear. Each one interferes with the transport of water and carbohydrates, weakening in the tree.

I recommend you replace this peach.

see https://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/disandpath/prokaryote/pdlessons/Pages/CrownGall.aspx

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