Japanese Maple bark problem

bones101

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What is happening to my maple?? It's getting these oroange patches and bumps on the bark here and there. I took a magnifying glass to them and saw that they're not insects. The bumps don't come off with a light fingernail scratch.

Please tell me I can save this tree.

Thanks,
Sharon
 

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Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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There is little doubt in my mind that this is a fungal infection. You can try spraying with Captan, it wont harm a Maple but I think your best alternative would be to consult your local department of agriculture and ask them what it might be. Japanese Maples have a tendency to get what is called Canker but this does not look like that. Act quickly before it kills your tree or worse, it spreads.
 

bones101

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I couldn't find Captan but I picked up some Daconil Fungicide and Bonide Copper Fungicide. Would either of these work?
 

Vance Wood

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Stay away from the Bonide, J. Maples are not tolerant of Copper. You should still ask the department of agriculture in your area. They may be aware of the problem and be able to give you suggestion, or they may want to look at it as something new.
 

bones101

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Update:

I contacted both the Agricultural Commissioner and the Master Gardeners here and it turns out it was just some good old harmless lichen. I was told 'Lichens are composite organisms and consist of a mutualistic relationship between algae and a fungi. The algae are typically photosynthetic, which allows them to feed themselves and the fungi. This is why lichens do not typically pose a threat to other plants.' And the bumps 'are probably apothecia, which are where the spores of the fungus partner are produced'.

Now, if I could just find a pot...
 

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Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
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Update:

I contacted both the Agricultural Commissioner and the Master Gardeners here and it turns out it was just some good old harmless lichen. I was told 'Lichens are composite organisms and consist of a mutualistic relationship between algae and a fungi. The algae are typically photosynthetic, which allows them to feed themselves and the fungi. This is why lichens do not typically pose a threat to other plants.' And the bumps 'are probably apothecia, which are where the spores of the fungus partner are produced'.

Now, if I could just find a pot...

Read your post today as an update and noticed something interesting; you live in Novato California! That's where my mentor used to live. He taught me a mountain of information between 1959 and 1964 when I was inducted into the Army. His name was Roy Wendelken, a friend I will miss forever and one of the bonsai pioneers in the area.
 

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