My crimson red maple has a vertical crack that runs down the trunk, with sticky, pungent liquid oozing out of it. What is happening? —Chris Corno, Winchester, VA
That liquid is most likely a bacterial flux (or discharge). Many trees are able to survive bacterial infections for long periods of time, particularly when they come from a superficial wound. In any event, there’s nothing you can do about it. Just try to keep the tree as healthy as possible and observe it carefully. If the tree begins to deteriorate significantly, you’ll have to take it down.