My father has a dogwood tree that is dying in his front yard. It is covered with a fungus that has black crater-looking spots on it. The limbs with the most fungus are the ones in poorest condition. I would like to know if it is treatable. I've already sent pics to the contact in Halifax, Jason, but would like to know if anyone in Patrick could see it in person.
Patrick County Virginia
My name is Melanie Barrow and I am the ANR Horticulture Extension Agent in the Henry County/City of Martinsville VCE Unit Office, which the neighboring county to Patrick County.
After reviewing the picture you submitted along with the description of the problem you have described, the dogwood in question is suffering from a canker disease. Canker diseases cause sunken areas in the bark that may girdle the trunk and result in the death of the tree above the canker, or swollen areas with roughened bark on the trunk or main branches. These roughened areas are often invaded by insects. Trees with cankers often produce sprouts from the base of the tree. No control measures are known. Only canker-free plants should be purchased.
The gray-green material along the branches are lichens and are moss-like organisms that do not live parasitically off of the tree, but rather from the air and humidity. Therefore, these are of no consequence to the overall health of the tree.