Latest Diagnosis
Canker disease on Maple tree?
Submitted by Terri Lessig on 10/28/2014
Maple tree located in heavier soil of North Wood County. Branches on south side of tree lost leaves mid-summer and branches died. It looks like the entire south facing side of the trunk is dead and the living bark on the north side is trying to grow over. Many of the upper branches are showing small "canker" areas on the south facing sides of the branches, even the branches on the "healthy" side of the tree. I was thinking vert wilt or Cryptosporiopsis canker, or lightning strike... Attached are pictures, I also took a small branch with a canker on it if I need to send it in. I do not see the streaking usually associated with vert, but that does not rule it out.

Overall view of tree.  You can see the brown roll
upper branches showing some splitting
closer view of lower branch
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Reply by Brian D. Hudelson on 10/28/2014
Teri: I suspect the problem on the south side of the tree is due to cold injury, basically a variation on a frost crack. Laura Jull can disuss the ins and outs of this much better than I can. There may be planting issues that are contributing stress to the tree that is predisposing it to injury. And I cannot rule out the presence of canker fungi. If they are there however, I suspect they came in after the damage had occurred and are not the primary cause of the problem. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions. Brian (:))

Reply by Laura Jull on 10/28/2014

This poor maple is in serious decline and I don't think it will be around much longer. There is considerable trunk damage with bark falling off. There is not much you can do about it now. I would remove the tree. The tree was also planted too deep with no root flare evident at the soil line. There is probably girdling roots below the ground surrounding the trunk tissue as well as basal rot. There is more than frost crack involved here.

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