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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What's wrong with my plant? > Deciduous Trees > Hackberry > Discolored areas on branches/trunk

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Hackberry > Branches/Trunk > Discolored areas on branches/trunk

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  • Image: Wetwood or bacterial slime flux 1
  • Image: Wetwood or bacterial slime flux 2

Wetwood or bacterial slime flux
Several species of bacteria

  • Streaks or columns of water-soaked discoloration of bark on the trunk or branches that is gray to yellow-brown when dry and black to brown when wet
  • Discoloration commonly starts at bark cracks, wounds, or branch unions
  • Fluid may ooze or bleed out of openings in the bark and may have a yeast-like odor
  • Avoid wounding the tree
  • Protect the tree from other stresses, especially soil compaction from vehicles or pedestrians
  • More information on wetwood
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  • Image: Lichens 1
  • Image: Lichens 2
  • Image: Lichens 3

Several species

  • Colorful patches on the bark of trunk and/or branches
  • Can be wrinkled, in scalloped sheets, lace-like pads, bushy tufts, paint-like spots or splashes
  • Forms can be flat against the bark surface or raised in leaf-like lobes, finger-like or hairy projections
  • Colors may be shades of gray, green, blue, yellow, orange, or red
  • Lichens do not harm trees or shrubs and no management is necessary
  • More information on Lichens
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  • Image: Coral spot canker 1
  • Image: Coral spot canker 2
  • Image: Coral spot canker 3

Coral spot canker
Nectria cinnabarina

  • Sunken dark brown area on branch that is often cracked or has a ridge at the edge
  • Raised cushion-like bumps on affected branches, may be cream to orange or red, turn black with age
  • Dead branches and twigs, often first observed in early spring when no leaves form
  • Or, wilting soon after leaves emerge in spring
  • Common on trees stressed by drought, recent transplant or
    other factors
  • More information on canker
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  • Image: Branch cankers 1
  • Image: Branch cankers 2
  • Image: Branch cankers 3

Branch cankers
Botryosphaeria stevensii or Botryosphaeria spp.

  • Cankers are brown to black sunken areas on branch that may have cracked bark and discolored sapwood
  • Scattered dead branches seen throughout canopy
  • Leaves on random branches wilt, turn yellow then brown during the growing season
  • Infected branches don't leaf out in spring
  • Common on trees stressed by drought, winter injury, wounds, insect feeding or other factors
  • More information on cankers

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