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Tree Condition Advice

Discussion in 'Trees' started by HalC, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. HalC

    HalC Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,
    Hello to everyone
    Just joined these forums and trying to navigate my way around...

    Could anyone please give me some advice about splitting bark on a tree in my garden. I'm not 100% sure if it's a maple? Please see photograph/s . I'm a bit concerned about the cracking of the bark near where the 'v' is. Is there anything I can do or need to do? Or is it likely that the tree will recover and repair itself and any ideas what has caused this issue and is it safe ? I've attached a picture of a leaf for possible ID. The tree has also had blackspot for a few years running now. Incidentally this is not the main trunk of the tree, it is attached further down to a larger trunk which seems in better shape.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Hal

    100_2780.JPG100_2781.JPG
     
  2. noisette47

    noisette47 Total Gardener

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    Hello HalC, the best-case scenario is Tar Spot disease..see here...Tar spot of maple.
    The bark doesn't look good, though. Definitely an entry point for moisture/rot. Could you take the entire branch out, back to the main trunk, without spoiling the shape of the tree?
     
  3. HalC

    HalC Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi,
    Thanks for the reply. If the branch was taken out it would look a bit unusual and not balanced. I was hoping not to have to resort to any surgery to be honest. I'm considering maybe having a specialist look at it if necessary. If I ask a tree surgeon are they likely to just say 'yes it needs chopping down' regardless? Is this my only option ? On the other hand I don't want to spend a fortune on a survey to be told the same thing. Thanks very much for the link about the tar spots.
     
  4. Macraignil

    Macraignil Gardener

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    Is the branch with the cracked bark liable to fall on something you don't want damaged? Maple regrow very quickly even if cut down to a stump, but then you would have a multi-stemmed tree instead of the conventional single trunk. There is also the options of pollarding, topping or canopy reduction explained in this article. It says spring is not a good time to prune Maple due to sap rising. If the tree is in a significant view point in your garden then you may want to get a professional to advise on the best way to get it looking right if you do need to cut it back some way. If it is not liable to fall on anything I think maple are so vigorous it would grow on without any action being taken to cut out the area of cracking in the bark so if you don't mind seeing it then you could just leave it be. Maybe knock on the effected area just to make sure it is not hollowed out by whatever is causing the bark to crack.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  5. pete

    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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    Top left you can see where the tree is trying to repair itself, that roll forming on the edge of the bark.

    If it was mine I'd remove any loose bark so that its not holding moisture behind it and clear it back to good firm bark, check the wood behind is not rotten, leave it a few years and see what happens, if it gets worse then it may need to come down.

    I dont think the leaf problem and the bark problem are connected but I could be wrong.
     
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    • HalC

      HalC Apprentice Gardener

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      Hi,
      Thanks very much for the reply, yes it would cause damage to my property if it did fall and this is my main concern and of course the health of the tree. Thank you for the link explaining pollarding etc.. I think I'm now convinced I need to get a professional to come and look at it and discuss options to tackle the issue. Thanks again for the replies, it's much appreciated.
       
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      • HalC

        HalC Apprentice Gardener

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        Thanks Pete for the reply. Yes I think I'll have a closer look at it to remove the bark, as long as it doesn't make the matter worse? I agree I don't think the tar spot is related.
        Thanks again
         
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        • HarmonyArb

          HarmonyArb Gardener

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          Hi HalC

          Tree surgeon here - I can confirm what you have there is a sycamore tree (so a member of the Acer family but not a maple, as such). The messy crotch area looks to be due to a number of things, but mainly bark occlusion and bark damage. It looks to me that either a young shoot tore out or the tree has sustained squirrel damage in the past. The black exudate could be a sign of infection / decay beneath the bark.

          The leaf damage - as pointed out in the post above - is tar spot. It is quite harmless to the tree, although it can look alarming and spoil the overall tree aesthetics.

          If you are genuinely concerned about the tree and want to know your options then I suggest seeking advice from an arboricultural consultant, who can, if required, write up a report about the tree. Tree reports often comment on overall tree health, highlight any concerns and how to best address them.

          IMO sycamores are prone to being a pox ridden tree that will thrive for many years in a hideous state without a problem.
           
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          • HalC

            HalC Apprentice Gardener

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            Hi, Thanks HarmonyArb for your reply and thanks for the advice.

            Firstly, I did wonder if it was a Sycamore but I never have sycamore seeds ?
            Could it be a type of Sycamore ?

            Secondly, it's funny you should mention squirrels as this had crossed my mind as I do have quite a few squirrels visiting that particular tree.
            I do intend having a health check on the tree and see what my options are.
            Thanks again and thanks to everyone for their replies and input.
             
          • HarmonyArb

            HarmonyArb Gardener

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            Just plain ol' sycamore. Acer pseudoplatanus.
             
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