Sick young maple tree

Asked September 17, 2018, 1:54 PM EDT

Hello, help please, I have some young blaze autumn maple trees (maybe 10 yrs old). The bark seems to be peeling, and now it seems that a fungus has started to grow on the tree. Are these signs of of a dying tree. The canopy still looks fairly good. Can this be treated with something,and or should the trunk be rapped? Thank you for your help, Paul

Isanti County Minnesota tree health wood rotting fungi

3 Responses

Is the same tree shown in both photos? The cracks we see in the bark in the first photo may not portend anything serious. Wrapping in winter can help prevent such cracks or keep them from getting larger. Go here to learn about frost cracks:

On the other hand, the darkened, bruised looking area we see in the second photo indicates that decay is well established in the trunk. This decay may be associated with what appears to be a pruning scar near the top of the darkened area. Pruning may be needed to maintain tree health but decay organisms sometimes enter before the wounds close.

It's unlikely that much can be done to save the tree with the damaged trunk. However, to be sure, consider asking a certified arborist or forester to assess the tree's health onsite and recommend a course of action.

Go here to learn more about wood decay organisms.


Thank you for your prompt response, full disclosure, when I noticed the bark peaking I used a spray pruning sealer (black in color) to cover the open areas. Shortly after that I noticed the white fungus on it. Is there anything I can use to control the fungus? Thanks, Paul

Thanks for the clarification. We don't think knowing the blackened area is pruning sealer changes the diagnosis much. The fungus still indicates significant decay at the site. Nothing can be applied to arrest it. An arborist will be able to confirm or rule out this opinion by taking a close look at the tree onsite.