Diseased Maple Tree?

Zone 8a/b:
We planted a Maple (I don't know if its a sugar, Japanese or other variety..green all summer, orange & red in fall) about 8 years ago. Its now 25' tall. The trunk started getting splits in the bark last fall. There would be dark drip areas (sap?) that looked like it ran from the splits.
Yesterday my husband was poking at the bark in one place to see if he could figure out what was going on and huge chunks came off. He said he saw some tiny insects moving around but they quickly disappeared.
I took some pictures of the trunk w/splits, the trunk with the missing bark section and two pics of the underside of the bark. Can this tree be saved? It has plenty of red buds on it so I'm hoping it'll be ok.
http://homepage.mac.com/taraosment/miscpics/PhotoAlbum18.html
--
Tara


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I'm no authority on trees so I'll let someone else answer as to whether it can be saved or not, but do you really want a huge tree with a weak spot in the trunk? Have you ever seen what a tree branch does to the ground when the weight of the tree is behind it as it blows over? Imagine what it would do to a house or a car or a person.
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On 2007-03-05 10:11:16 -0500, FragileWarrior

Good points I hadn't considered. I just hate to lose that many years of growth. My neighborhood was practically treeless after hurricane Hugo and very few people replanted trees. This one is finally starting to cast some shade (the primary purpose in planting it) so I'm loathe to start over.
--
Tara


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whether
Well, don't take my word for it since I don't know tree illness/repair. I just know that we lost a tree once (that was healthy but couldn't survive hurricane force winds) and when I saw how those limbs embedded themselves into the ground, I got rather light-headed. I seriously never considered what happens when a tree falls, I guess.
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Just an update on the maple tree. I had an arborist come out today and he said the tree is healthy, the problem is the bark in that area had been hit with the lawn equipment one too many times. He also said the splits in the bark are normal from growth expansion.
--
Tara


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Great news! So what did he recommend to protect the tree from malicious mowing?
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On 2007-03-07 10:56:27 -0500, FragileWarrior

Since my husband is the malicious mower, a good divorce lawyer! (just kidding)
He recommended pulling up the grass and laying a ring of mulch around the tree about 2-3' out from the trunk.
The bad news is that I like the natural look of grass growing around tree stumps. Also I haven't figured out how to keep my St. Augustine grass from ignoring mulch. I really don't know how landscapers keep this grass at bay. I don't see them hand-weeding all these commercial landscapes.
The good news is that I'll have plenty of oak mulch since the same guy will be coming to grind a huge pin oak stump in my backyard. He was actually apologetic about his price but his price was much less than I was expecting so its all good.
--
Tara


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I have St. Augustine and lots of trees w/mulch. Best thing is to use some sort of tree ring border that you can weedeat against- those runners are very aggressive.
If you don't use a border of some sort you just have to edge frequently.
--
Toni
South Florida USA
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