Q: Last fall we planted a small coral bark Japanese maple. It seems to be doing well this spring except for some damage to the trunk. At first I thought landscapers had hit it with a string trimmer but then I noticed the spots of damage are the same all the way up to its leaves.
A: I have seen the same damage before. My guess is that this maple has such thin bark that it is easy to be damaged during harvest or while it is in storage.
Yours looks pretty healthy so I wouldn’t worry about it unless the damaged areas get bigger or limbs start dying.
The tree will likely heal itself without intervention.