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Maple Tree w/ Cracked Bark (IL)

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From: Robert Zimny
Woodridge, IL
Have a maple tree in my yard that appeared to have cracked bark. When I inspected it more closely, a 6 in wide by 2 foot tall section of bark fell away, exposing the wood beneath. That wood stained with some black, and in a few small spots some white mold. Wood it hard. Tree appears to be in good health otherwise. Is this something to be concerned about? Thank you

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Robert:

This is common on thin-barked ornamental trees, especially red maple cultivars here in the Midwest. Assuming the tree is still healthy and vigorous (full, healthy crown of foliage), I would simply let the tree's natural processes take over. AVOID the temptation of using tree paint or tar to cover the affected area -- let Mother Nature take her course!

Best, Jay

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