What should I do about a frost crack on my tree?

Q. What should I do if my tree developed a frost crack over the winter?

A. If you suspect your tree has a frost crack (here’s how to identify frost cracks), contact Bay Landscaping to schedule a professional inspection. Depending on the severity of the frost crack, we may recommend extra nutrients (fertilization) and extra care to help the tree recover.

It’s also important to keep an eye on the tree and act quickly to prevent pest or disease problems (an open crack gives insects, fungi, and other pathogens easy access to the interior of the tree).

After inspection, if there is any loose bark near the crack that’s not firmly attached to the trunk it should be carefully trimmed away from the tree (preferably by an arborist). This will allow the wound wood or a callus to form unfettered.

Preventing frost cracks in the first place should be your priority. So, if you have any recently planted deciduous trees (or other trees that are more vulnerable to frost crack damage), consider protecting their bark during their first winter in the ground.

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Answer Provided By ...

Warren Liken

With more than 40 years in the Green Industry, Warren offers a wealth of experience, passion, and expertise. He's one of a handful of Certified Arborists in the Great Lakes Bay Region, as well as an active member of the International Society of Arboriculture’s Michigan chapter. You can count on Warren and Bay Landscaping to solve your tree and plant issues.