I have a tree in my yard that turns all the shrubery under it and the trees around it black. Anyone know what it is and what can be done aside from cutting it down.
Many times when a tree or shrub gets black it is becoz of a scale infestation. Can also be aphids I beleive. The scale or the aphids excrete a liquid called honeydew. It is sticky and sooty mold then grows on it. If you google scale or aphids + honeydew + sooty mold you will certainly get lots of hits to explain the connection and see if that seems to be the problem. Look closely at the tree and the shrubs for the infestation, look on the bark and on the undersides of the leaves. I've seen this on crape myrtles and on various types of magnolias. Even better would be to take some of the black parts to a master gardener or county agent. You can google your parish and master gardeners or county agent, also called extension service.
This can be treated in various ways. You should use the least toxic method. You can also hand remove scale and/or prune some of the infected branches, and you can physically remove ahphids with a strong hose spray and some use a soapy water spray. Good luck.