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There is a tree in my backyard that has gone quite black around the trunk. The bark seems to be splitting and a liquid is collecting on the ground near the black area. Bugs and insects have also taken a liking to the area and a strong odor is present. I do not know what type of tree it is. See picture. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

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If the smell is unpleasant, your tree has bacterial canker and the tree needs to be removed, otherwise there is a risk it will, at some point, fall on its own. Sometimes trees start seeping liquid that doesn't smell, and that's gummosis which can often lead to bacterial canker, but either way, please check the stability of your tree and consult an arborist (tree surgeon in the UK). Both gummosis and bacterial canker can arise from splits or cracks in the trunk; these can be from physical damage, disease, freezing weather, or sometimes rot at the root.

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