During times of cold winter nights followed by warm sunny days, you may see frost cracks in trees. They can be many feet long and a couple of inches wide, and the colder the temp, the bigger the cracks. Frost cracks typically occur on the southwest to the south side of the tree.
Why are my trees cracking? Is it frost crack?
The phrase “frost crack” denotes vertical cracks in trees due to alternating freezing and thawing temps. When the bark contracts with freezing temps and enlarges on warm days, a break will occur. A tree with a crack is in no real danger and can live for many years.
Reasons for Frost Crack in Trees
Frost is just one of the reasons for tree bark cracking. Also, you’ll see cracking tree trunks from a disorder termed sunscald. In early spring or late winter, the warm sun beaming on the trunk causes the tree tissue to break rest. When sunshine afternoons are trailed by freezing nights, the tissue perishes. You could see bark peeling off the tree. Smooth-barked and dark-colored trees are most vulnerable to sunscald.
Splitting tree trunks also happen in trees grown in places where they are a bit hardy. Hardiness zones reflect the lowest normal temperature in an area. These low temperatures can harm trees growing on the boundaries of their hardiness zones.
How to Fix Frost Crack
If you've thought about how to fix a frost crack, the answer is that you can’t. Wound paint, adhesives, and sealants do not affect the health of the tree or the healing process. Keep the wound clean to avoid infection and leave it open.
Once a crack happens, another crack will probably form in the same spot. You can help stop a re-occurrence by casing the trunk of the tree in tree wrap in the wintertime. Remove the cover in late winter or spring when the temperatures are warmer. Leaving the wrap on too long offer a good hiding place for disease organisms and bugs.
A way to safeguard the tree is to put shrubs around the trunk. Shrubs can shield the trunk from weather extremes and shelter it from direct sunlight. You should also trim the canopy of surrounding trees. When it comes to tree trimming, it’s best to get a tree specialist to come and do a consultation to help you decide what trees need to be pruned and when.
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