Columnar Red Maple split in trunk

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Ania_Gardener, Jul 28, 2022.

  1. Ania_Gardener

    Ania_Gardener Member

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    Please help, my 10 year’s old beautiful Red Rocket Columnar Red Maple, started to split, I noticed some oozing sap coming from the crack in the trunk and then the crack extended upwards.

    Should I wrap the trunk with some sort of band to prevent farther split?

    The canopy still looks good and lush.
     

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  2. Cattwooduk

    Cattwooduk Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen a trunk split like that before, that's quite something!

    The black oozing looks a lot like a pretty heavy pseudomonas infection unfortunately. I know sometimes a tree can almost 'seal' off an infected area if it's healthy enough, but I wouldn't like to say how well it could recover from that.

    How big is the trunk, it's hard to gauge measurement?
     
  3. Ania_Gardener

    Ania_Gardener Member

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    6-7" dia.
     
  4. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hello,

    Don't wrap it. The good news is, vertical cracking seldom threatens the life of the tree. The bad news is, of course, that there is some kind of infection, and that might. Air will help it heal, and wrapping wont help if more area needs to be given to the infection.

    Vertical cracking can come about because of uneven watering -- usually a dry period followed by lots of water -- or frost, usually while the sap is running in spring. These cracks a benign and don't require any treatment. They quickly compartmentalize, and the new bark usually seals them up within a year or two. This process may already be starting on the top.

    Is the gunk coming out of the crack and staining the trunk? Or is that whole wet spot a lesion?

    I would immediately start spraying with Bordeaux Mix (or some kind of copper solution). I'd be spraying every 3-4 days, given the state, to try and halt the infection.

    If the entire spot is an infected lesion, I would perform surgery: using a razor blade, cut around and remove the entire diseased section, making sure to only cut into clean healthy wood, and to clean the blade with rubbing alcohol after every cut. Then the entire diseased section can be removed down to the wood, and you can start a copper treatment. This is an extreme solution, and not without risk to the tree, so it shouldn't be undertaken unless there is a large, weepy, active infection involved.

    But let's see where the infection is active, then we can advise you how to proceed.

    Another question: if you scrape the sides of the split, near the top, is it immediately green underneath? Or do you need to go back from the split to hit healthy green cambium?
     
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  5. Ania_Gardener

    Ania_Gardener Member

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    Unfortunately the infection it’s spreading downwards and covers entire bottom of the trunk.
     

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  6. Ania_Gardener

    Ania_Gardener Member

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    I started to spray the infected area with a Bordo copper spray this afternoon (just got it today); hopefully it's not too late to save my tree.

    Thank you so much.
     
  7. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    You're welcome, and good luck. Do make sure that anything that touches the weepy part is sterilized afterwards. Including your hands! You really don't want to spread the infection around the garden.

    Do let us know how it's getting on.
     
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  8. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor

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    Hi ! Emery.
    I have several expériences of cracks on trees of all species, and that for decades. The last one was my Acer Lobelii.
    Photo 2 : sap of that tree is flowing abundantly, bacteria grows in the sap, but outside and create a color.
    When sap is flowing, there are several kind of bacteria able to create different colors on bark, pink, brown according to their species.

    That is not pseudonomas at all, for sure. No infection around the garden expected. 'Foi de papy’.

    What is getting on next ?
    If the soil is dry, the sap flow stops, but with rains the flow start again.
    When the bark dries the stain become darker, and when the flow start again another spot is superimposed on the previous one.
    You can observe that on photo 2 (and last one), as i see, 3 surimposed flows spot of sap.
    If you use your phone, you can’t see such a ‘subtile aquarelle’ ...

    The problem is, where the sap flows, the bacteria prevent the crack from closing; but it is not a danger of disease for the tree.
    The flow can last several years ... but it always ends up stopping.

    En français:
    Je n’invente rien. Ce sont des connaissances transmises dans les écoles de formation des élagueurs-grimpeurs, Versailles et Angers par exemple.
    Tu l’expliqueras en anglais bien mieux que moi. En particulier, quand on observe un phénomène ou un symptôme, il faut s’efforcer de rechercher les traces
    du temps et les stades successifs. On regarde trop une photo comme une image figée, c’est toujours les indices de temporalité qui sont éclairants;
    exemple ici: l’effet aquarelle de taches plusieurs fois remouillées.
     
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  9. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor

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    I am going to contradict friendly emery.
    @Ania_Gatdener.
    Don’t perform surgery
    I would recommend washing vigorously with détergent and a rough sponge.
    You will see that there is not black spot or blackening under the bark.
    This will be the proof that cambium is not affected by a disease.

    @emery.
    When there is a little round hole with gunck coming out, that is a symptom of phytophthora
    and not of pseudonomas bacteriosis.
     
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  10. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'm glad to "see" you, @opusoculi , I hope you're well, my friend.

    Well, I did suggest scratching and trying to find the extent of the actual infection!

    I love your description of an aquarelle for the mark, perhaps only an Art Professor would see that, haha! But it is very apt.

    Botrytis can also make a weepy wound, there are those in the maple world who blame it (I think incorrectly) for many sins. When pseudomonas gets going, there is sometimes weeping, but I don't know if this might be related to secondary infection. The OP's tree doesn't look like it has phytophthora, which would be unlikely in Acer rubrum as it quite likes water (phytophthora is a water mold). However, if phytophthora is suspected, there is at least a treatment: watering with the product "aliette".
     
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  11. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    "Aliette" is Fosetyl-Al. I didn't find a link in English, but according to Wikipedia (FR), it's harmless to mycorrhyzae and pedofauna (all the living (very) small animals living in the soil).
    I still have some in my garage, haven't used it for a couple of years.
    I heard it was going to be banned (a rumour ?), but apparently, it's still available in France, at least online.
    Last time I used it, I used it as a spray and it was efficient.
     
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