The Q&A Archives: Maple Tree Trunk Turning Black

Question: I am worried that our maple tree may be sick. On the trunk there is a black 'spot' that covers about a 1 square foot area of the trunk that is only 24" in dia. It starts close to the ground. Could this be some kind of root rot? The layers under the outer bark are not wet but the bark looks 'wet'. Thanks for any advice.

Answer: It sounds like a bacterial or fungal disease, all right. These pathogens usually attack plants that are under some kind of stress from drought, poor drainage, or injury. Check with a local landscaper or arborist to find out if there's some kind of treatment to save your tree. Best of luck!

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