Bay Tree Leaves Oozing Substance
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: L. Logan
Posted on: March 2, 1999

I live in the Chicago area and winter my small (18") Bay plant indoors. It’s about 3 years old. This winter it started producing a glaze or ooze from the leaves. It is a hard substance. I noticed that some bug chomped on about three of the leaves, but haven’t caught the bugger yet. Could the ooze be a natural defense to a bug?

Producing lots of gum is a very typical wound reaction. I am guesing that the plant is producing gum as a reaction to insect damage. The bug you are trying to catch in the act of chomping your trees leaves may be a weevil. Few bugs have strong enough mouthparts to attack the tough leaves, but weevils can do so. They come out of the soil at night to feed. Innoculate the soil around the plant with scanmask(#T2600). These predatory nematodes will attack the weevils as they try to pupate in the soil and thus get rid of your problem.

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