Beech (Fagus sylvatica) bark problems
I have a 8 ft Fagus sylvatica 'Purple Fountain' with bark issues on the lower trunk. Despite knowing European beech grows best in Northern climates (zones 4-6), I planted the tree in my zone 7b Arkansas newly created pinetum. Hey who hasn't zone pushed before? The tree was B&B stock planted the 1st week of Feb 2011. I didn't notice any problems with the trunk or bark when planting. The summer of 2011 set record highs for temps and we had minimal rainfall. I properly watered the tree by hand not allowing the root ball to dry out throughout the summer. I'm assuming the tree partially defoliated early because of the conditions and transplant shock. All the buds on the tree are viable and look great. Recently, I noticed the bark problems on the lower trunk. In several of the places, the bark is brittle and breaks off leaving a whole. Could this be bark disease caused from the fungus Phytopththora? Isn't European beech supposed to be resistant to beech bark disease? I havn't noticed any liquid draining from the bare spots "bleeding cankers". It's documented that beech is also prone to wood decay and root rot. Do you all think this tree will make it? Any help or insight will be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
October 20, 2011