Coral Bark Maple - Maybe a bark splitting issue?

Asked April 8, 2019, 1:03 PM EDT

I recently noticed one of my coral bark maples had what looked like a long split up the trunk and at a branch juncture. It was noticeable because of what looked like a dark liquid seepage, that when I dabbed it with my finger, appeared to have a rust color. The trees are about 10 years old and at least 20-25' tall. See attached photos, it is the tree in the rear, closest to the house. I am wondering if this might be a bark splitting issue that has gotten some sort of fungus or other bug.

Anne Arundel County Maryland slime flux coral bark maple tree bark cracks

1 Response

We cannot say for sure why the bark split. It could be due to frost cracks. This is usually not a cause for concern. Sometimes they heal on their own and no control is necessary. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/frost-cracks-sunscald-growth-cracks

The sap that you notice looks like slime flux. There are no treatments and it will not harm the tree. http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/slime-flux-and-wetwood

mh