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Anna, Biologist, Gardening Expert
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 11417
Experience:  I am a biologist with experience in water gardening, and growing trees, ornamental plants, and vegetables.
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I have a Japanese maple and it is oozing a liquid from the

Customer Question

I have a Japanese maple and it is oozing a liquid from the bark at a joint where multiple branches expand...a closer look reveals a tiny worm semi transparent and barely visible. The tree is about 13 years old and good condition. what is this? is there a treatment?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  Anna replied 2 years ago.

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in trees. I'm sorry to hear of this problem.

From what you have described, I believe your tree has what is called canker. It is a common infection of in Japanese maples, and can be caused by bacteria or fungi. There is no chemical treatment that eradicates it, and it is often recommended to simply remove the tree. However, if it is a fairly new infection, you may be able to save the tree by cutting out all the spots where the liquid is oozing. It is best to do this in the spring - May or June. A margin of tissue has to be removed around each one to be sure all the infection is out. The entire process is rather complicated. If you want to try it, I'm going to give you a link to the Pennsylvania State website, where there are step- by- step instructions. The instructions apply to all trees, not just stone fruits. You'll have to scroll down for that section.

Trees infected with any kind of canker are often targets for borers and other insect pests. They take advantage of the weakened tree. The tiny worm you found is not the cause, but is simply taking advantage of an already sick tree. You can treat the open area with an appropriate insecticide from your garden center.

If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you'll be able to save your tree.


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