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Maple Tree Bark Diseases

Maple trees are susceptible to numerous fungal diseases that cause cankers--areas of dead bark--on tree trunks and branches. Although, cankers are unsightly, most will not kill a tree. Limbs and branches with cankers should be pruned back to the closest main joint. There is no chemical preventative or treatment for most types of cankers.

Basal Canker

Several species of phytophthora fungi infect the base of maple trees, causing basal cankers. Dead bark in the affected area peels off easily to reveal dead wood underneath. The fungi kill the tissue that transports water and nutrients for the tree, sometimes resulting in the tree's death.

  • Maple trees are susceptible to numerous fungal diseases that cause cankers--areas of dead bark--on tree trunks and branches.

Bleeding Canker

The fungus Phytophthora cactorum causes cankers that ooze a reddish substance. The dead wood behind the wet areas is stained red.

Cryptosporiopsis Canker

When narrow-winged tree crickets make holes in the bark of maple trees for their eggs, they introduce the fungus cryptosporiopsis. An elongated sunken canker forms around the single hole, which oozes sap in the spring. A callus of healthy tissue forms over the edges of the canker within a year and contains the fungus to the canker.

Eutypella Canker

Eutypella parasitica fungus causes large cankers on the trunk or branches of maple trees. The cankers are long with raised edges of callus tissue. In some cases, the cankers may girdle the trunk of the tree and cause the tree to decline and die.

  • The fungus Phytophthora cactorum causes cankers that ooze a reddish substance.
  • A callus of healthy tissue forms over the edges of the canker within a year and contains the fungus to the canker.

Valsa Canker

Elongated shallow cankers caused by Valsa ambiens usually occur on smaller limbs of maple trees. The centers of the cankers are covered with gray to white small bumps of spores. An affected tree may die after a severe summer drought or an extremely cold winter.

Maple Tree Diseases With White Spots On The Bark

When white spots appear on the bark, you know something is amiss with the maple (Acer) tree. Various diseases affecting maple trees can cause discolorations on the tree bark. Once you have determined the cause of the white spots, take the necessary actions to control the disease. These cankers will contain many small, white or grayish pimple-like bumps. There is no cure for valsa cankers and control measures rely on cultural care. Prune maple trees in the spring during dry conditions and disinfect pruning shears after each cut. Armillara root rot spreads via rhizomorphs, which look similar to black shoestrings and are attached to infected stumps and roots. However, you can stop it from spreading by removing and destroying all infected parts of the tree. As winter nears, the female maple mealybugs will crawl into crevices in the bark and create a white casing that protects them during the winter. These white casings can be seen in the bark of the maple tree. Some species of maples, such as sugar maples, can be more sensitive to oils so care must be taken when applying the insecticide.

  • Elongated shallow cankers caused by Valsa ambiens usually occur on smaller limbs of maple trees.
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