Tupelo black sooty mold fungus
I have a tupelo or black gum in my yard that's probably 80 ft. tall. A branch broke off during last nights storm. The branch is covered with some type of black sooty mold fungus. Can you tell me what this could be from the pictures? Is this something bad that I need to get ahead of by calling in a tree expert?
Anne Arundel County Maryland
This is not sooty mold. We are not sure if the black spots you see on the branch are part of the normal growth of the stems or something else. The branch appears to have healthy foliage on it -- it probably just broke in the wind. Have you seen any dieback symptoms in the tree canopy?
We do see a few scale insects in your first photo, but it does not seem like anything to be too concerned about. No treatment or action is necessary. Continue to monitor the tree and let us know if you see any unusual symptoms as the season progresses.