Gardening Alert: Oh, no, Sooty Canker!
Oh, no, it's Sooty Canker! If you notice that the bark is falling off your tree with a dark patch that looks as though it was burned, your tree is suffering from Sooty Canker, a fungus that, if left untreated, will kill the tree.
The best thing to do to get rid of sooty canker is to cut away the branches affected and spray the tree with a fungicide. You can find a good tree fungicide at most home improvement stores. Be very careful with the spray, and do not let children or pets play in that area for a day.
Spring is the best time to treat sooty canker because the fungus can spread to other trees nearby. Some of the most common trees affected by sooty canker are: ash, mulberry, carob, all species of citrus, elm, fig and other Ficus species (including Indian laurel), grapevine, natal plum, oleander, pine, poplar, silk oak, sycamore, umbrella tree, willow, walnut and wisteria.