Disease I.D. on trunk of hornbeam?

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Can anyone I.D. this greyish/greenish (fungal?) spot on the trunk of my American hornbeam? The tree is otherwise healthy. I'm worried about the proximity of the spot to the disfigured bark above it. Any thoughts? Dangerous? Advice for removal? Thanks.

229836442_248443597113673_1920064719713347875_n.jpg
 
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Is it possible the spot is actually just lichen? I've not seen lichen that looks like the photo, but, at the same time, it doesn't look like any fungus I have seen either.
 

penumbra

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It is an infection I am pretty certain, or at the very least it is mechanical damage. I can't tell you what course to take because it is not in my hands and it is not my tree. But I wolud be inclined to dig around a little to see if there is a canker or discoloration in the wood. I would be certain to sterilize my tools before and after.
 

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It is an infection I am pretty certain, or at the very least it is mechanical damage. I can't tell you what course to take because it is not in my hands and it is not my tree. But I wolud be inclined to dig around a little to see if there is a canker or discoloration in the wood. I would be certain to sterilize my tools before and after.
I agree with Penumbra , it appears to have damage that has allowed a pathogen to enter. If the tree appeared the same when I had it in front of me, I would explore the broken area just above to determine if infection was underneath the bark. If so I would be inclined to remove bark and clean to good wood. Disenfect, use. an appropriate treatment and heal over the scar if possible.
 
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^^What pen said, or some boring insect.
Look close above the black arrows. Those gouges running vertically may have been the entry point.
Yeah, unfortunately, I think you're probably right. After searching the Internet, Ii looks to me like it me actually by some kind of hypoxylon canker, known to affect hardwoods such as Hornbeam. Since it's on the trunk, it's likely incurable and will eventually kill the tree.
 

rockm

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Yeah, unfortunately, I think you're probably right. After searching the Internet, Ii looks to me like it me actually by some kind of hypoxylon canker, known to affect hardwoods such as Hornbeam. Since it's on the trunk, it's likely incurable and will eventually kill the tree.
I don't think so. Stuff like this is fairly common on hornbeam and I've collected a few. The tree looks to have compartmentalized the damage. I would poke around the wound and under the bark in the middle to confirm, but I don't think it's as dire as your prediction. Stuff like this is opportunistic and is not usually a primary cause of a tree's death. It is a symptom. Get the tree growing well and it's most likely not going to be a problem.
 

penumbra

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I don't think so. Stuff like this is fairly common on hornbeam and I've collected a few. The tree looks to have compartmentalized the damage. I would poke around the wound and under the bark in the middle to confirm, but I don't think it's as dire as your prediction. Stuff like this is opportunistic and is not usually a primary cause of a tree's death. It is a symptom. Get the tree growing well and it's most likely not going to be a problem.
I hope you are right and I do feel it is worth trying. If it was mine I would try to save it. From an arborists view it goes to the burn pile. I have posted here before about many beech trees taken out at an office building in NO VA because a a nectria infection.
 

rockm

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I hope you are right and I do feel it is worth trying. If it was mine I would try to save it. From an arborists view it goes to the burn pile. I have posted here before about many beech trees taken out at an office building in NO VA because a a nectria infection.
I don't think it's that kind of infection, if it's an infection at all. It could be a lot of things, including an impact wound from the circular callus around it. Not worth fretting it will kill the tree.
 

penumbra

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If is a canker, can it be opened up and filled in with a sealer? Not a burn pile tree whatsoever, if it’s healthy and growing well.
That's what I would try. I would not be in a rush to fill the cavity though. I wouldn't want to seal anything bad inside.
 

rockm

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It's tricky with this species to not seal it after major cuts. American hornbeam tends to die back from big pruning and cut wounds because the living tissue around the wounds dries out quickly, which results in die back on the trunk.
 
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It's tricky with this species to not seal it after major cuts. American hornbeam tends to die back from big pruning and cut wounds because the living tissue around the wounds dries out quickly, which results in die back on the trunk.
Thanks, all. Yes, the tree **appears** to be growing well otherwise. I plan to monitor it for the next week to see what happens with it. The greyish "spot" under the disfigured bark must have appeared relatively recently.

How should I go about investigating the spot? Should I cut into it with a knife? Also, what am I looking for?--perhaps to see if the spot has penetrated the wood underneath the bark? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

TomB

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I’d be using a knife or sharp chisel to remove all the dead bark, cutting back all around to the point where I could see green cambium. If the wood under the bark is clearly rotting / discoloured then I’d carve away any soft material there too. I’d then use a good wound sealer (e.g. Kiyonal) over the whole area.
 

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