Advice on tree rot problem.

medcare, Oct 28, 9:15pm
Hi, attached are a couple of photos of a tree at home that suffers from bug infestation and rot, my questions are:
What sort of tree is it.
What sort of general pesticide can I apply to the tree to get rid of the bugs, the only bugs I have seen on the tree seem to be common garden slaters.
Is there a repair paint that I can apply to the damaged areas.? And once the area has been treated is there a permanent paint to apply to the scar.
Is there anything I can add to the soil to improve the overall health of the tree.
Thanks ;-)

trad, Oct 28, 9:49pm
I have an apple tree that looks similar. It started when a cat that was here almost ring barked it with it's scratching about 25 years ago. Has been going strong since though, plenty of lovely apples.

nzmax, Oct 28, 10:09pm
Tree is a Japanese Maple (Acer Japonica?)

lythande1, Oct 28, 11:39pm

maclad, Oct 29, 3:25am
You have slaters because the tree is rotting and they are eating the debris, they have not caused the issue. That was something possibly caused by humans. We use to dig all the rotting and dead wood out of the scar till nice clean living wood was reached all round, then fill it with concrete and hope the scar grew over, but guess there are better methods now. What ever you do it must be waterproof and your tree, sadly, looks a bit of a major job.

medcare, Oct 29, 4:21am
it's interesting because for the last year it has looked a whole lot worse, there was virtually no foliage and the branches were drying and breaking off. I thought the tree was for all intents dead so I just left it.
But I was pleasantly surprised this year by how much the foliage has come back, so much so that I thought if I actually look after it, then maybe it can recover.
So I will try putting a mild insecticide in the bug holes, then figure out something to paint over the scars, but I don't know what will work or what could make it worse.
It is in a line of similar trees, but only this one has suffered infestation, it would be good to keep it if I can.

nchun, Oct 29, 4:35am
Looks like an old cicada scar.

maclad, Oct 29, 4:46am
It is not bugs which are killing your tree, they are cleaning up the rotting wood and no amount of insecticide will save your tree. Rot is wet and that wet will continue to eat away at your tree until it gives in. The reason your tree has improved maybe because the cambian layer is mostly intact. This is a layer under the bark which allows transportation of nutrients and water to the tree. You need to remove the rot and take it from there. It is not hopeless but could be a bit of work.

medcare, Oct 29, 5:13am
Yes i think you are dead right, that is likely the problem, I searched cicadas and maples are a favoured tree for them. Impressive to see the size of a scar left by just one cicada.
The only control i have found for cicadas is a product Biforce, used as a granule around the tree to kill off hatching larvae. Sometimes used in the Kiwifruit industry.
The cicadas are due out in about 2-3 months, I'm wondering if there is a paint or deterrent I can paint on the trunks of this particular row of tress.

I don't mind individual cicadas on branches, they may just kill the odd branch but digging into the trunk can be fatal for the whole tree.

ianab, Oct 29, 5:39am
I'm going to go with Acer palmatum, which is also called Japanese Maple.

Look like some event has peeled a large area of bark away. This exposes the wood underneath to decay, and maple is not very rot resistant.

The slaters are just a symptom, not the cause of the problem. They only eat decaying wood, and you have lots of that to attract them.

Problem is that the only real solution is for the tree to seal over the wound. You can see how it's trying to create that bulge of new growth on the edge of the wound to close it up again.

But long term it doesn't look good for that tree. It's likely that too much material is going to rot out before the wound can seal itself. Paint and concrete has been tried, but doesn't seem to have any useful effect.

medcare, Oct 29, 5:42am
I wonder if something as unusual as a weekly spray with linseed oil (but not maple syrup :-) will help to moisturise and/or heal it, or. make it worse.

maclad, Oct 29, 6:13am
Another option would be to cut off the tree just below the damaged area. Maples are quite resilient and it may well send up new shoots and grow into a decent tree in time. Even if it does that it will need diligent pruning to get a decent "shaped" tree out of it.

maclad, Aug 16, 7:44pm
You are missing the whole point of this, bugs are not the problem, they are a secondary infestation due to the very poor condition of this maple.