Photo's of my question..............

Asked March 21, 2017, 8:24 AM EDT

I just sent a request for help with my tree but had problems with the photos, I think this worked. It has turned black and is oozing a clear (I believe) liquid, the bark can be pulled off, woodpeckers appear to enjoy the black flies that are all over the heaviest secretion, it drips from the limbs. The tree is about 25 feet tall, in a group of crape myrtles, moist due to heavy rains this season. Lots of older trees down driveway. I love this tree and hope not to loose it. I would like to ask another question, when putting a nail in another tree trunk (won't do again) liquid began running down the trunk, like I turned on a slow faucet. This tree I am afraid is dead. Both are maples I believe. The tree with the black bark appears to be getting buds but not the second tree, please help me. Local Home Improvement are trying to sell me all kinds of stuff but I don't think they know about trees, just selling stuff. I appreciate this so much.

Essex County Virginia

4 Responses

The black on the bark is a fungus growing on the ooze which is due, at least in part, to the sapsucker damage shown on the middle picture. There may be other problems but they cannot be discerned from the photos. You should wait to see how much of the tree is living/dead when the new growth emerges and from that you can tell it the tree is salvageable.

I purchased insect killer to get the flies off the tree, there was hundreds. The tree appears to have buds on most of the limbs. Should I put a fungicide to address the fungus creating the problem?

The "fungus" is not harmful.. it's called "sooty mold" and is merly growing on the "sugar water" (sap) running out of the tree.
The insects you see are probably not harming the tree but just enjoying the sap as well.
Overall, this tree does not look to be in good shape. It's got a poor branch habit and some significant internal decay.

If this were my tree, I'd consider planting another tree in the vicinity to eventually take over the space and function that's important to you currently being provided by this tree. I'd not put any additional time or money into this tree but rather let it be and it may be fine or in a few years, perhaps it will be in greater decline.

you have been very helpful and I am happy that I found you, You were prompt and very intelligible. Sadly I love this tree and hopefully it will last a few years. I am in my 70's and God willing it will last as long as I do, Another tree will never grow fast enough for me to enjoy and there is no space to plant another. The root system alone ibn the ground around tree will make it impossible for me to dig the hole. thank you so much some of the answers give me some hope. The tree produced a lot of budding so maybe it will be around a little more., Again thank you so very very much. Dorothy.