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I've just noticed several inches of whiteness on a lower branch which still has leaves further along.  I've never noticed this before & wonder if it could be a fungus & if so, how can I be sure & how can I treat it?  This was once a pink/green/white leaf variegated tree but now has all green leaves having exhausted the original acid soil we planted for it; there are sycomores & birches in the area where we live but the soil is quite heavy with clay deeper down.  The tree is about 15 years old.

Alina W

Unless the bark is showing signs of peeling or damage it's unlikely to be a fungus. Perhaps it's lichen?

There has always been lichen on the tree but it's silvery grey & textured.  This is as if someone has taken a 2 inch paintbrush & painted about 8 inches of a branch on the inside where the outer bark seems to have come away as we see in some small & large acers.  I tried chipping it off with my nail will little success.

Alina W

Do you have squirrels? They will strip bark in winter, and can cause a lot of damage.

I hate grey squirrels knowing they've driven out our reds & yes they're around here though I've not seen them strip that branch I could have been at work then/when they did it  I'll google this white stuff!!

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