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This is a bit of an odd one but I'm both intrigued and confused by the branch that has split near the trunk of this tree. I don't know what kind of tree it is but it has purple flowers in early spring then goes green until winter. A very interesting tree that I personally love but something appears to have damaged it. I've never seen tree damage like this before so I know it was a bird or lightning. I'm hoping someone else has seen this before or perhaps could even identify the type of tree this is.

I should not that this branch shouldn't be rotting or dead as it still has green on it even as I take pictures. I'm sure its going to die now though.

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Trees often rot from the inside outwards. This can have no visible effect for years, since all the "life" in the tree (movement of sap, etc) is just below the bark. The center part of the trunk and branches are in effect just wooden posts and beams holding up the rest of the tree!

Those white patches look like the final stage of a fungus attack to me, where the fungus has finally reached the surface.

If there would be any risk of damage to property if the tree blows down in a storm, I would get an expert to look at it. It might carry on producing flowers and leaves "as normal" for years, but if it is structurally unsafe it needs to be dealt with - and that probably means felling it.

Also, now the fungus (if that is what it is) is visible, it will start producing spores which may infect other nearby trees.

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  • I would remove the whole tree at one time ;it would be impractical to keep any of it for a limited life. – blacksmith37 May 16 at 19:33
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There are certainly parts of the tree that are dead and need removal for the safety of people using the garden. It is also possible that the other limbs of the tree are similarly affected but you cannot see the state of the deterioration in the limbs as the bark is still intact. The fact that the tree has been producing new shoots is sometimes also an indicator that it is 'unwell' and is trying to reproduce to pass on its genes. You could see if there is any loose bark on other limbs to assess extent of damage. If the tree is felled, you may get natural regrowth, [see Coppicing], from the root system. [Some types of european willows naturally split/crack at limb junctions and the split limbs then regenerate from where they have fallen onto the ground - this is a natural reproductive process.] However, without knowing what your tree species is, seek advice from a knowledgeable tree surgeon as regrowth may still be infected leaving you with the same problem. If the other tree in the picture is the same species, probably a good idea to get it looked at as well.

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