what is attacking our young tree?

shiylieJune 16, 2014

We have a young maple tree not planted by us. It was doing very well in early spring and had happy little leaves starting to form when we left for vacation 2 weeks ago. When we got back we noticed there are spots on the leaves and they're very droopy compared to other maples on the street. There don't appear to be spider mites (did the paper test) but there are some small black bugs under a handful of the leaves. Most leaves have no signs of pests. I did notice an opening in the bark halfway up the trunk and a rather large a split at the base of the trunk. I'm not sure exactly what is attacking our tree, a pest or a disease, so any help would be appreciated. I have attached pictures which will hopefully help. I can take more if necessary.

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Here is another photo of the leaves.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:15PM
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And a picture of the opening in the trunk...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:17PM
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Finally, a picture of the split in the trunk.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. We really want our tree to be healthy. Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Not sure about the leaves but the trunk looks like mechanical damage - like it was hit by a car. That higher wound is old and is already healing over - just cut away that piece of loose bark and leave it alone. The wound at the base looks more serious. It probably happened at the same time. I would dig down and cut that whole loose piece out. The tree looks like it was planted too deep. I would peel back some of that mulch.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2014 at 10:58PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I would remove the tree and plant a different one. The tree is destined to fail mechanically (blow over at some point in the future); and if all that powdery looking material at the base of the tree is frass, insects are already helping the tree progress to its inevitable demise.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 3:59PM
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