Client Concerned with Large wounds on Maple

Asked July 17, 2019, 8:49 PM EDT

Greetings, I garden for a neighbor in Carroll County who has grown very concerned about the condition of this maple near her deck. It has developed these large wounds in the main leaders and is suckering pretty profusely. I am wondering what these types of wounds are symptoms of and how great of a concern these are for the long-term - especially given that a considerable amount of the crown grows over the roof of the house. Thank you!

Carroll County Maryland trees and shrubs abiotic issues trees possible lightning strike on maple

1 Response

That is an unusual form for a maple tree. Normally it would have one main trunk and leader.
The long damage on one of the major limbs looks somewhat like a lightning strike.
Take a look here:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lightning-damage The tree is trying hard to heal the injury/bark loss by evidence of the callous tissue forming and closing in on the sides.
While the leafy canopy of the tree appears pretty healthy, the limbs could be weak from the damage and may be more likely to come down in a storm.
It would be prudent for a tree health professional, called a certified arborist to do an on-site evaluation of the structural integrity and all the factors, then suggest the best course of action. They are not just tree cutters, but have credentialing from the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). Larger tree companies often have one on staff or you can search for one at www.treesaregood.org .
Getting more than one estimate for comparison is usually a good idea, even if she decides she just wants to remove it and start over.
There are trees of smaller stature that would better suit that area without towering over the house.
Here is a coupon from the MD Department of Natural Resources should she decide to go that route: http://dnr.maryland.gov/forests/Pages/MarylandersPlantTrees/Introduction.aspx


Christine