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My Red Maple Tree has a big old open spot in the trunk. How…

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My Red Maple Tree has...
My Red Maple Tree has a big old open spot in the trunk. How do I fix it and is it too late already?? It's been like this for 2 to 3 years.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Landscaping
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/11/2012
Landscaper: Arborist1627,
 replied 6 years ago
Arborist1627
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 1,071
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Arborist1627 :

Greetings!

Arborist1627 :

So here are my thoughts:

Arborist1627 :

When you talk about an open spot in the trunk, it could be due to a variety of things. It could just be an old injury from a past weather event or when a limb was improperly pruned. It could also be a fungal infection though.

Arborist1627 :

Typically what happens is that there is some sort of opening in the trunk (either due to pruning or some sort of mechanical injury) and then the tree is colonized by fungi.

Arborist1627 :

Some fungal pathogens will cause the breakdown and blocking of the vascular system (verticillium wilt, phytophthora, etc.) while other fungal pathogens will cause reoccurring cankers (botryosphaeria canker and nectria canker).

Arborist1627 :

The most important variable to considering is whether or not there is limb die back in your tree. The limb die back would signify that the vascular system of the tree is materially affected--this is something that you would need to try to course correct.

Arborist1627 :

You should study the open spot in the trunk and see if you can see any lighter colored wood on the margins of the wounds where the tree is trying to seal over the wound.

Arborist1627 :

If it looks like the the wound is starting to seal over itself and there is not any limb back die back in the tree then you probably don't have to worry and you just let the tree go through its natural physiological processes. However, if the tree is showing some die back in the limbs (and if you see any bleeding from the wound of any sort) then putting down a soil drench of a systemic fungicide might not be that bad of an idea. Try a product called Subdue Maxx (found at www.treecaredirect.com under the fungicides) and mix it with water (per the label) and apply in the spring. Repeat annually from there to continue to guard against other fungal infections.

Arborist1627 :

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions. If you are satisfied with my answer, be sure to formally accept it by pressing the "accept" button. Thanks for the opportunity to help!

Arborist1627 :

George C. Murray ISA-certified arborist #IN-3297A

Customer:

Remember, this is an old injury. It's already healed over mostly. It looks now like it's trying to grow back in around the big injury. The injury is 18" from top to bottom and about 8" wide. It almost looks like it's rotting now. Is there any hope even?? The tree has regular leaves on it and has for the past 3 years. It's a beautiful tree when it's fully leaved. That's as long as we've lived here. Do I even need to worry about it??

Arborist1627
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 1,071
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Landscaper: Arborist1627,
 replied 6 years ago
Greetings!

Even if trees with substantial cavities live for long periods of time as long as the vascular system is still in good shape. The tree is sealing over the wound and the leaves have been good. This tells me that you are probably ok and that you should just sit back and relax. Let the tree do its thing and just watch it. Thanks for the acceptance; let me know if there is anything else I can do!

All the best,

George
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