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Oct 27, 2017 5:13 AM CST
i am new here I live in south Texas, and i have a rather large issue with 3 large Lacebark elms where they have recently lost very large limbs. not such a big deal but as i examine the trees i see areas in the bark where it appears the limb dying. As you can see in the first picture the limb is about to break. there are ants (not in abundance) in the trees but could they or would they cause this ?

Thumb of 2017-10-27/ferus22/abe949

Thumb of 2017-10-27/ferus22/b7545f

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 27, 2017 1:08 PM CST

Usually, when you see scars like that, it means that a branch has broken off in the past in that spot. The tree is attempting to heal itself - that is what the rolls of bark are surrounding the hole. The bark grows thicker around holes to help shore up the tree. But, it has also caused weak areas that are more susceptible to insect and disease infestations and more breakage. Also, as the layers immediately beneath the bark that carry nutrients and moisture between the roots and the canopy is gone, the canopy and roots above and below those areas are also affected.

In the top photo, a limb broke off in the past making that bare spot. The tree is eventually going to grow and cover it up. But, it looks as though the interior of that limb (or trunk - can't tell) is hollow. The only think holding it to the tree is the bark.

As you are seeing areas like this and limbs have recently broken off your trees, I would be inclined to hire an arborist to come give their expert opinion. Make sure to find an arborist, not a tree company. Tree companies are in the business of cutting trees down. Your County Extension or the Agricultural Outreach at your local college should be able to help.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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