Hello. I have a Natchez Crepe Myrtle, planted about 3 years ago. It is now...

Asked July 27, 2014, 11:44 AM EDT

Hello. I have a Natchez Crepe Myrtle, planted about 3 years ago. It is now 8-10 ft, 3 trunks,each close to 5 inch circumference. Very early this yr I noticed one trunk looked as if a deer sharpened his antlers on it. Now for about 2 months the area is blackened. The area is about 2o inches long. The leaves are green and very healthy looking and is just finishing blooming. Please help identify what the black is and does it need to be treated. I have more photos if needed. thank you.

Howard County Maryland trees and shrubs crape myrtles black areas on trunk

1 Response

It is normal for the bark of crape myrtles to exfoliate. The photo that you sent shows the trunks may be located in the shade. The black on the trunk may be an algae or mold due to lack of sunlight possibly on the north side. This will not hurt the tree. If your tree looks healthy and putting out new growth, no treatment is necessary.
If the tree did sustain some type of damage, it is best to let the tree heal on its own. The use of any pruning paint can hinder the healing process.
mh