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Red Maple Concerns

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by jim2000k, Dec 8, 2018 at 3:34 PM.

  1. jim2000k

    jim2000k New Member

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    Red Maple Concerns

    I am concerned about the health of my 80-year-old Red Maple which is the most outstanding feature of our front yard. I want to find out what the black lumps are that are growing on this tree and make sure that they are not something I need to take care of immediately. I am hoping that my tree will live many more years.

    About 10 years ago, we lost a large branch in a storm. A tree company removed the branch and cut the damaged branch off very close to the trunk. Now, this autumn, I see some sort of round black lumps growing out of the site of the cut branch. I also see something that looks like rot on the wood. I would appreciate your opinion on this:

    1.) What are the black lumps?

    2.) Do you see any other problems with the health of the tree? (I took pictures starting three weeks ago after the Red Maple lost all of its leaves, but leaves were green and full before autumn.)

    3.) Is there anything I should do to make sure this tree stays healthy?

    I've attached 3 photos:

    1.) This is a wide-shot of the tree with a red arrow pointing to the branch which was removed. Do you think I would need to remove the whole side of the tree if it is dead underneath the cut branch?
    1505RedMapleWS.JPG

    2.) A medium shot that I took today. Two of the three black lumps are now gone. Is there any other problems that you can see?
    6634RedMapNov2018mss..jpg
    3.) A close-up of the round black lumps on the tree about 3 weeks ago. Looking on the internet, I wondered if it could possibly be tree decay fungus, King Alfred’s Cakes (Daldinia concentrica), but that is usually on Ash trees. If this is a fungus, does that mean that the tree underneath is dead?
    1343CutRedMapleCU.jpg
    The tree seems healthy otherwise. I have never noticed these black lumps before this past month.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to any advice you could offer.
     
  2. Toronado3800

    Toronado3800 ArboristSite Member

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    The wood underneat IS more or less dead.

    Its also rotting and there is a good amount of weight hanging on that branch. I'd probably get concerned when it becomes soft to the touch. If that branch is hanging over your nice home there I'd be quicker. From here on my cell I think I see a boorer hole. Is it soft inside?

    Slightly bigger picture rant:

    It looks late now in this case but man I wish we'd decide on something to treat large pruning cuts with. Afterall, we seal oaks in sod territory and you should see the stuff we put on fresh grafts. This is a perfect example of CODIT not working on a large cut on a mature tree. Congrats to us and Shigo for thinking of every situation as the same :(
     
  3. Jason Douglas

    Jason Douglas ArboristSite Guru

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    It is a heart rot decay fungus. Not surprising given the size of the wound and the tree species. No cause for losing sleep at this point but consider having some end weight taken off the limb in the future.

    I believe Shigo would have recommended not exposing so much heart/ripe wood against a large stem. For that matter, a tree continuing to lay down functional sapwood while hollowing is proof the compartmentalization is an effective process.
     
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  4. Jason Douglas

    Jason Douglas ArboristSite Guru

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    And that was a poorly executed cut to begin with. Huge gaping flush cut on a poor compartmentalizing maple...
     
  5. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Yes the concern is decay. The black lumps are the fruiting bodies of decay organisms. What type exactly is only a concern of a Mycologist. It is decaying and becoming weaker. That being said, I'm not too concerned at this point. Thin the canopy to lighten the load (possibly install a cable) and it will probably last a long time. Also consider the target (what it will hit if it fails). On site visit from a professional is best.
     
  6. jim2000k

    jim2000k New Member

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    The branch came down during a storm and rested on the roof. Very lucky.

    It was a reputable company that did the work. But some dumb 25 y/o kid did the actual work. I have been pissed since the day it was done, that he cut way too close. Won't use them again.
     
  7. jim2000k

    jim2000k New Member

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    We have one scheduled in the spring. We are waiting so the full canopy is out and can assess our other trees' health.

    Can I cut out the rot and fill with something to stop it and protect the tree?
     
  8. gunny100

    gunny100 ArboristSite Operative

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    if i were my tree id cut it down for the firewood
     
  9. Oldmaple

    Oldmaple Addicted to ArboristSite

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    No, don't cut out the rot and fill it. You will likely spread the rot beyond the barriers the tree has already placed. Read Alex Shigo's work if really interested. Leave it alone and address structural concerns other ways. Just understand tree health concerns and structural concerns are two separate issues.
     

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