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Trees Shrubs Hedges

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Question: 498-1111
One of my plum trees have large cracks in the bark. I have noticed ants climbing up the bark last summer. I have used fertilizer stakes the last few years. What else can I do? David, Adair, OK

Mort's Answer:
Excessive growth from too much fertilizer will cause cracks in the bark. Ants are looking for earwig eggs. You need to perform some surgery to get rid of the earwigs. If they girdle the tree, you will lose it. With a razor knife or sharp linoleum knife made a leaf shaped cut that encompasses the entire crack. It should have a point at the top and bottom. Scrape any brown or black wood down to white inside the incision. You will need as many of these cuts as there are cracks. Fill the cavities with tree wax or lexonite. This will tell the ants they are barking up the wrong tree.

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