Maple Tree Bark Disease

I have a Maple tree that is has some type of disease on the trunk. The bark is coming off and there are small white things growing on it. Has anybody seen this and know how to treat it? Here is a picture:
http://www.esysdev.com/Maple.gif
Thanks in advance...
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The tree is about a 5 to 6 inch maple located in northeastern Illinois (Chicago Suburbs). Last summer the bark problem started. It was a hot dry summer. This summer has been cooler than normal and much more rain than normal - our lawns are still green! This spring the leaves had some spots on them. I researched it a bit and decided it was probably wind scorch. I saw similar spots on several other trees in the neighborhood. There were some very strong winds (60 mph) in the spring. The area in question faces west and gets the hottest afternoon sun. The foliage is mostly normal, maybe a little thinner than normal.
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On Tue, 12 Aug 2003 12:59:57 GMT, "Dan Dietrich"

What type of maple is it and where do you live? Sugar maple borer has been a problem in New England and could be the source of the problem.
The shelf fungus shown in your picture is not likely to be the problem, but rather just taking advantage of the situation.
John
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Dan Dietrich wrote:

Ohhh, yuckers! This looks like either sun-scald or freezing damage, or maybe a combo of the two. The white stuff is shelf-mushrooms . . . they aren't the cause, but a symptom; you can remove them with your fingers. Your tree can survive this; what'd I'd recommend is shielding the trunk from sun and freezing for a couple of years. You can make a sunshade out of a cylinder of chickenwire and shade cloth, set about 6" from the trunk. The best freezing protection I've found is flexible sheets of close-cell foam that you can duct-tape around the trunk AFTER the ground freezes; remove as soon as you hit spring thaw.
Chris Owens
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