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Mr. Smarty Plants - Large ash tree with round white spot on bark

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Monday - July 21, 2008

From: Evansville, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Large ash tree with round white spot on bark
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a large ash tree that seems to be fairly healthy. However, it has a large round white spot (about 18" diameter) on the bark, about 3' up from the base. Within the solid white circle the bark is very shallow in depth, as though the bark is magically getting thinner and thinner in this area. There are no signs of holes and no visible fungus growing. Three different tree trimming companies have looked at it and all say they've never seen this before and the tree looks healthy otherwise.

ANSWER:

I'm not sure which ash tree you have, probably Fraxinus americana (white ash), but Fraxinus nigra (black ash), Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash), Fraxinus profunda (pumpkin ash), and Fraxinus quadrangulata (blue ash) also occur in Indiana. Then, there is also Sorbus decora (northern mountain ash). Here are some links to information about Fraxinus spp. and Sorbus spp. disease and pest problems:

"What's Ailing Your Ash Trees?" by Jill D. Pokomy

"Ash Tree Problems" by Sandra Mason

"Ash Yellows and Decline" from Missouri Botanical Garden

Fraxinus Insect Problems from Michigan State University Extension

Sorbus Disease Problems and Sorbus Insect Problems from Michigan State University Extension

I am sorry but I haven't found anything that sounds like your tree's problem. I suggest that you contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Forest Service to see if they have encountered this type of problem on ash or any other trees.

 

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