Maple Tree Issues

Asked March 19, 2019, 5:26 PM EDT

I recently purchased a house that has 2 maples trees that are about 30 feet tall and both are covered in black bark. The black goes all the way up the trunk and is also starting to go out on some of the branches. There also appears to be some kind of pest damage on one of them a seen in the pictures attached. The yard is usually fairly damp, and was much more so before I worked on the downspout drainage after I moved in, so I'm not sure if that would cause whatever my issue is. One of my neighbors has the same thing going on with one of their trees, though from what I can see it is much less severe than mine. The other neighbor, who has a yard that usually sits more damp than mine, has two maples as well though neither of them is showing any signs like my two. I tried taking a sample of the bark into the Homestead Gardens diagnostic booth but the person there wasn't too sure but suggested it might be verticillium. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Anne Arundel County Maryland wildlife trees maple tree blackening

3 Responses

How does the tree look overall in the growing season? Is the upper crown full with healthy looking leaves?
Do you know what kind of maples they are? Did they show color in the fall and what color?
If you could send us a couple of photos of the whole tree we will take a look.
Our specialist is out until next week, but we'll get back to you.
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I'm not sure how the trees looked in the summer, by the time I went for my first viewing in the late fall there were no more leaves. I was able to find the old listing which had some not so good pictures of the trees and attached one of them. The leaves from what I remember were mostly brown, but again this was January before I got to them and raked them up. I've still got a decent amount of them in a composter pile but they are mostly starting to decay at this point but some are lighter brown. The first picture is the one I was able to pull from the listing, I believe the property was initially listed around July 2018, so it should be from about that time. The other two are ones I just took to show most of both trees.

We don't see anything of great concern in your photos.
It looks like there is some sooty mold (the black growth), which can grow on the 'honeydew' exuded by scale insects, the holes look like the work of a recent woodpecker (not uncommon on older trees), and there is some wetness, which can be the trees reaction to the holes.
None of it is of great concern and there is nothing that you need to do.