Any idea what this funk is on this sapling?

I was looking at my saplings and came across this on one of them. I didn’t want to take chances so I pulled it.

There was a white dusting of something covering the scar-looking areas.

I’m sure it’s something common- I’m just a newbie orchardist.

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Possibly,some kind of slime mold,like Dog vomit.Is the stuff also on the ground, around the plants?

Thank you for responding. I had a tree guard around the sapling due to deer. It was at the base and up the stem approx 6 in. This pic is after I brushed away a snowy white coating that was the consistency of finely shaved soap or grated cheese. The lesions/scars are in the wood itself and don’t appear to be something attached to the tree (eg. Similar to bracket fungi on bark)

Woolly apple aphids can cause galls like that .and have a white appearance on the surface

That makes sense. When I first saw them I thought it looked like a REALLY bad case of aphids. Thank you.

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