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Sick Tree Needs Doctor

My red maple is starting to drop 3-6 inch pieces of bark.I have also noticed a fungus looking light green spongy growth on the trunk.The two trees are full and beautiful in the spring and summer,and I have noticed no problems with the leaves or thier color.Both trees are pretty old and are trimmed every couple years to keep control.I LOVE THESE TREES!!!They are a huge source of enjoyment,a centerpiece to our yard.Hope you all can help. Thanks

Re: Sick Tree Needs Doctor

Are you talking about ornamental Japanese maples or tall, eventually huge red maples?
I've never known red maples to drop pieces of bark like crepe myrtles or birch trees, but the bark often splits in the winter. That usually doesn't hurt the tree.
Japanese maples I'm less familiar with except that they can be beautiful accents in a yard.
The green is probably just your common moss or lichen that grows on shaded trees. A not to worry.
If the trees are that valuable to you, it is worth having an arborist in to inspect for problems. Most will inspect free. Try Bartlet Tree service. I think they are a nationwide company. Look for their 800 number to see if they are in your area.

Re: Sick Tree Needs Doctor

your description of fungus sounds like normal lichen. bark loss could be caused my many things, animals scratching, hits from machinery, diseases, insects, splits allowing water in then freezing, sap taps, and others. leaf wilting can be caused by many different things effecting a tree from the underground up.

a certified arborist can help you diagnose your problem, many local government units have them, especially now with a number of foreign invading insects and diseases that are effecting trees and locally and nationally imposed quarantines. your county extension office may also have information or even a free consultancy service.

Re: Sick Tree Needs Doctor

I hired an arborist through my county extension office (around $30) to look at my Norway maple, which has a large dead branch that had shed its bark and has a vertical crack in the trunk.

He diagnosed it with sunscald, which he said is common in maples because of their thin bark, particularly on a tree's south side because of the winter sun when the tree has no leaves.

I thought it was worth the nominal fee to get expert advice from someone who had no financial interest in the treatment or potential removal of the tree. (in fact, he said just let it be)

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