Today’s “Ask John”question from a call-in customer:
Q: Hi John, I planted this tree last summer. It was leafed out and appeared healthy last year. It grew buds earlier this spring but now the buds look like they are getting hard and dying?
Just noticed recently that the trunk color turned brown about one foot from the ground?
Any thoughts on what is going on?
A: Dear Steve, It is a Striped Maple tree. The young bark will always be striped and then it fades as it matures. The discolor on the trunk may be due to transition from young to mature bark.
I am questioning if the tree has a canker (fungal disease caused by stress). If you see spores on it that is a clue.
I suggest that you prune back the branch that looks affected to control potential disease.
There are no sprays or chemicals to control the fungi that cause the disease.