MagnoliaMan wrote:The black I see in the picture looks like canker disease. If so it will spread. This is painful, but if it were mine I would cut it off a good 4-6" below the black discoloration, dipping my clippers in rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution EACH TIME before and between cuts. This sterilization will prevent your clippers from possibly spreading the problem. The alcohol is less corrosive on clippers.
Canker can be caused by bark damage brought about by a late freeze on "softening" bark in the spring and other things that damage the bark (hail, physical scuff, etc.).
thanks very much for the info.
and yes we did have a late winter and snow and a few very hard frost's
the trouble is if i cut it, there wont be a lot left as it gone blackesh on the main branch.about half way down ,also it seems funny that the top has leafs but that part of the stem is black:(
oh well will let you know how it gets on