Canker or damage?

whaas_5a(5A SE WI)August 6, 2013

Can anyone please identify whether this is canker or damage?
The spot is just ever so slightly soft.

It doesn't look wet like this all the time. Just if its humid and not sunny. So by this afternoon it won't look wet once the sun comes out.

This tree is under warranty so trying to confirm the issue before going to the nursery.

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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

The shape defined edge where it turns black and appear to be sunken, make me classify it as canker.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:15PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Any thoughts on how to identify which type? For example Sudden Oak Death Canker means game over.

I just don't want the nursery to say, oh it will recover.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 4:27PM
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saccharum(z9 FL)

Very unlikely that it's Phytophthora ramorum in Wisconsin. You'd need to give a sample to a pathologist to make a diagnosis, but if this is a newly-planted tree, I think it would be reasonable to make a warranty claim with the nursery.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 5:46PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

It could have been grown in Oregon and was shipped from the midwest into WI.

Am I correcct to assume

1) Its likely a canker of some sort
2) Need to send it in to determine the pathogen causing the canker
3) Can't determine if long term health will be affected (or that it will spread to other plants) without knowing the exact pathogen

This is the same nursery in which I had that sugar maple top half die.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 6:57PM
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saccharum(z9 FL)

Nurseries in CA and OR now have to be regularly inspected and certified free of P. ramorum in order to ship out of state. Not saying it's impossible, but it would be a very big deal - your nursery would be quarantined as would the source nursery, etc.

I'd say that your three points above are pretty much correct, although even knowing the pathogen(s) won't necessarily tell you whether the tree will recover. If I were in your situation, I'd go ahead and suggest to the nursery that the tree has a significant issue and should be replaced. If they disagree, then go to the extension pathologists. What's the species?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 8:34PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

Impossible to say from looking at it what the pathogen is, and I have not seen SOD in person, so don't feel I am qualified. However, I do know that your local extension agent should be able to get a relatively quick positive or negative for Phytophthora. If it comes back negative for Phytophthora, then it can't be SOD. If positive, then further testing would be needed con confirm if it is ramorum.
I will say this. To me it looks like the lesions I have seen on ALLOT of stock over the last two years. Have seen it on Maples, Crabapples, Serviceberry, and others. Which leads me to believe is it a non-specific pathogen such as Psuedomonas, but I can't confirm that to be the case. Whatever it is, some plants are killed, others recover. Doesn't seemed to be linked to a particular cultivar, as same variability of recover seems to exist within a cultivar. However if its going to recover I would expect to see callus formation before the end of the growing season. BUT it could potentially spread as well. So if it was rare and/or expensive I would wait a bit. If common and cheap, then I would remove it. If the former, I would see the extension agent.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:24PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)


Thanks for feedback. I've sent a pic to the local ext office this morning. The staff reading the emails are master gardeners but hopefully they can at least point me in the right direction.

I also sent an email to the nursery who purchased from another larger nursery. I bet the guy is sick of me because first this particular oak had some damage to the trunk in which he gave me a discount. Then I had damage on Serviceberry that he got from yet another large nursery. Then that damn maple died back suddenly. Now this canker! What a disaster for a special order.

Last time I ever do that.

This post was edited by whaas on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 21:47

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 10:31PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

You just got the tree.
The tree has a problem.
Why wait any longer to see what might happen next?
Get a new tree!
Then promise yourself you won't purchase any more "bargains" because they're not.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:50AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Here is a better photo. I have no problem getting a new one I just want to understand the issue so I don't prematurely dispose of the plant.

Still haven't gotten a response on my maple issues which was a couple weeks ago now.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:14AM
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Kind of relevant - my neighbor and I both got red oaks from Home Depot in the fall - they were $12 for a 5 foot tree - who could say no?

Anyway, next spring, they leafed out, but were sickly looking and had formed multiple deep vertical splits in the bark and eventually died. But the roots sent up a new shoot, and by the end of summer, the NEW trunk was the same size as the old one had been, and the tree has been healthy since.

So obviously there had been a common issue at the store, but the red oaks recovered amazingly. This, of course, might not help if you have a graft. Your tree also looks fairly large to start with so you may not wish to wait... or pin oak may not behave the same...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:16AM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

The last pic you posted looks as though callus is forming around the site. IF it is in fact forming a callus, then it is successfully fighting off the pathogen. Few years ago I got a seedling of very rare maple. It developed a similar canker just above the soil went around about half of the stem. Thought it was a gonner. BUT, then it woke up for spring, and quickly overcame the pathogen, and by end of summer the wound was closed and has had not further problems.


    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:38AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Well the extension office basically said the same thing as you guys.

Its definitely canker and you won't know what caused it unless you get it under a microscope. Also hard to say if it will recover or not as it could battle it and decline overtime.

Coming up on two weeks and no final answer on my sugar maple and no reponse on the oak from the nursery.

Eitherway I'll see what it does over the next two months.

Thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 10:53PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

I had to end up removing this tree after this other massive canker developed. At least I am getting a refund...eventually.

This post was edited by whaas on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 21:00

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 2:37PM
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