I have a quite old mango tree in my garden. It is been there before my birth and I'm 23 now.

We cut and prune the tree (not all of it) whenever it gets too big never had issue but only this time after pruning and cutting and a few weeks of successful twigs and green leaves growth, suddenly a couple of things started to happen that never happened before.

  • Red gum started coming out from bark
  • Leaves completely wilted in weeks but not falling even now. I manually removed as much of the wilted leaves and twigs to remove burden from tree but a few are still up there as seen in images.
  • Bark started cracking and there were some insects inside it. I put some pesticide and now I don't see them in the cracks but the tree is still ill.

I researched and figured it may be verticillium wilt or dieback disease or a mixture of both. What do you think it is after observing the images ? In all these years never got this don't know how my soil got infected that bad. Tree has wilted before due to high temperature few times but all that time leaves fell, we watered it more and it became healthy again.

Here are some images enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

My last hope is this bud which had a few leaves a while ago though slowly dying but somehow it is still surviving even though it is at the bottom of tree. enter image description here

Even after all this I have put some soil fertilizer, been watering and I saw this leaf growing just recently at the very bottom of tree where I have never seen a leaf before. What does this mean ? Is there still hope ? enter image description here

Any help,info or observation is greatly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


If there was amber coloured fluid seeping out from somewhere,that's gummosis, and it's common on stone fruit trees. Gummosis can be non specific, but the usual causes are cracks in the bark (maybe from a hard winter), and poor pruning cuts allowing bacteria to enter the sap stream. I would suggest poor pruning cuts are the likely cause in this case.

A tree can be saved by cutting it down past the point where the problem has occurred - this can be very successful if its a particular branch, but in this case, it looks as if you'd have to cut the tree down past the point on the second main branch, showing on the right in the penultimate picture, or beyond that, past the point where there is a large, old, jagged stump projecting from the main trunk,depending where you saw the gummosis. There is some advice here https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/fegen/what-is-gummosis.htm regarding treatment of gummosis,but its not particularly relevant for your situation - this is an old tree, it will be impossible to transplant it, and the cause is much more likely to have been poor pruning cuts rather than poor drainage.

If you want to try to save it, then cut it down, but if the oozing was foul smelling, it may be too late.

  • Yes, I also believe it to be cause of poor pruning and tools that were used by the cutters we hired. I haven't really paid any attention to strelizing the tools before because I didn't know that this could also cause issue but this time I will take care. Will just putting the tools in really hot water for some period work or are there any recommended ways to strelize the tools ? Oct 25, 2019 at 19:19
  • Also Im just asking this to confirm. If by any chance it is Verticillium wilt then the disease starts from bottom to up right ? And cutting the tree will not help it in any case because the cause is in soil. Am I right ? Oct 25, 2019 at 19:20
  • Usually, yes, its soil borne but see here en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verticillium_wilt. Regarding sterilising tools, ordinary cleaning followed by 70% alcohol solution will do it - water would need to be actually boiling for a few minutes with the tools in it. But the pruning cuts should also be made cleanly with properly sharp tools, leaving no stubs of branches but making sure to leave a collar, so your problem hasn't necessarily been caused by dirty tools, but by poor pruning technique. Even then, gummosis can occur on stone fruit trees with no obvious cause.
    – Bamboo
    Oct 25, 2019 at 20:55
  • Thanks a lot for taking time to answer all this. Yes, I have been watching how to properly prune the tree for quite some time. I understand now all that collar , bridge and 3 cut method. Main purpose to not leave or damage the bark. After watching my tree again I just can't believe how improperly it was pruned right before my eyes and I haven't figured it out because I didn't know that can cause issue. I wish I have known that earlier. But anyway thanks. I think there might be still hope. Oct 25, 2019 at 20:59

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