What's Devasting my Trees?!?

I moved into a home with very overgrown but mature trees just over a year ago. We hired a professional to trim the backyard mango and ackee tree since both are taller than my one story South Florida home (25ft +?) On the side of the house, I started to fertilize and prune a neglected citrus tree (I still can't identify), an avocado tree whose fruit I didn't even want to eat - symptoms of Anthracnose and other deep and brown "pitting" and a smaller mango tree that never fruited but is large enough that it should. We also had the professionals prune the an oak and mahagony tree out front.

Since I'm right off a freshwater canal, I tried to limit the use of harsh chemicals so I treated all the trees with neem and horticultural soap. I could see the thrips everywhere and the leafminers did its damage on the citrus tree. As for the mango, it was an all you can eat buffet but despite being so close, I never noticed the same type of leave damage on the other trees. I figured it was coming from the overgrown bougainvillea who merged with some type of holly (pretty cool actually the way the trunks became "one"). So my husband and I gutted and removed that and hired Aptive, an environmental friendlier service though I did use standard fertilizer.

Everything seemed to be going well but around May I saw some serious changes with my mango tree. It was amazing to see how something could create "gorges". I noticed a substantial amount of ants on it, in the roots of my banana trees and essentially all over. Soon I noticed the same gouging though my less significantly on my ackee. By July, my avocado had a deep "chip" that was not cause by the lawn mower and now my mahagony to me, looked bad too.

After harvesting my mango, I became super diligent with fertilizing, traditional lawn ant insect treatments and home applications of Captain Jack's Deadbug brew. My citrus tree doesn't look pretty but it was growing nicely, I only applied organic treatments on the avocado and it looked the best it ever has according to neighbors and gave me plentiful and better looking fruit. The wound is healing nicely and quickly. The small mango tree, I think needs to be cut because it is "bleeding" and there are wounds/cankers where there wasn't.

With Hurricane Irma I lost half of my mango's canopy out back. I took the opportunity to see the condition of the branches. Most were healthy looking but some of the smaller branches revealed holes and boring. I'm afraid I'm going to lose them all if I can't figure this out. The previous tree guy won't even come out and diagnose.

I've said alot but I thought after reading, the history of the trees and treatments I did myself were important to note. The timeline too as it started in May and seems to have a devasting cascading effect across the entire lot. 20170514_Lg_Back_Mango[1].jpg 20170514_Lg_Back_Mango2[1].jpg 20170514_Lg_Back_Mango[1].jpg 20170514_Lg_Back_Mango2[1].jpg


Sorry about that. That's just the thing, I can't find any bugs other than ants. Everything I've read here and in other side says and don't actually kill trees but something change in the environment of my yard. You can see the gouges in the trunk of the mango tree as it branches out. My Aki tree has this black soot all over it and now I'm at mahogany which was beautiful as well has black and these nodules growing out of it everywhere period every single tree has wounds where something has made the bark come off or look chewed up. I've got moss growing on trees when I didn't have before...I've got green and yellow and orange fungus or mold when I didn't have it before. So I don't know if this is bugs, diseases or what.

I'm at a loss and the guy I hired just said my trees are fine and explain because I live on the water and it's so hot in Florida that's why there's this growth on the tree trunks. But none of this was an existence last year when we first moved in. And perhaps even if I wanted to entertain the notion that the moisture is causing the fungus/mold growing, it doesn't explain all the damage to the tree trunks and branches.

I was hoping by looking at the pictures across all of the different trees that maybe perhaps somebody has seen something similar or at a minimum tell me what diseases now have the opportunity to take place as a result of the bark wounds.


Well-Known Member
No mulch and a manicured lawn followed by what I assume to be garden store fertilizer. You may be encouraging fungi that was already present. Poorish?largeish? Pruning cuts can give more time for fungi/bacteria to enter the wood. Some of the pics look to be simply lichens which you can rub off and or use copper based fungicide staying well clear of anything you don't want to stain (metal wise). I live in Minnesota so I have no real advice or diagnosis I would use treesaregood.org to find a certified and competent arborist to diagnose and recommend treatments and or pruning


Well-Known Member
The dirt should not be on the stems. Clear the grass away from the trunk, and mulch.

A lot of what you see are not problems at all.


Well-Known Member
Get a profession in there.

It amazes me, here in the PNW, where giant trees loom over houses, that very, very few people have trees assessed by a professional before purchase. Of course, the building is inspected.

P.s. past history of poor actions on the trees. I'm definitely not going to call it the care.