The trunk is the single most important natural structure of a tree. It’s responsible for providing stability, as well as absorbing much-needed water and nutrients.
As such, it’s discouraging when you discover a massive crack running straight down the middle of your tree’s trunk. Whether it’s from strong winds, ground erosion, stress or a combination thereof, split trunks can prove devastating for trees.
Before you go chopping the tree down, however, you should first attempt to fix it.
Inspect the Damage
The first thing you should do is inspect the tree to determine the location and extent of the damage.
- Is the split going straight through the trunk or does it stop halfway through?
- Is the split located in the dead-center of the trunk?
- How deep is the split?
- Is there any signs of pest infestation or decay in the split?
These are just a few of the questions that you should attempt to answer before proceeding.
Mending the Split
Assuming the split is straight down the middle, and it’s not too deep, you may be able to mend it. Before doing so, however, you should trim away some of the branches and excess growth so there’s less weight pushing against the trunk.
Next, apply tree pruning sealer to the damaged trunk, adding a thick coat as a barrier of protection. Most plant nurseries and even home improvement stores sell this stuff.
And in the event that you are unable to find it locally, you can always order a bottle over the Internet. Tree pruning sealer is ideal for situations such as this, so don’t skip this critical step.
Some green thumbs have also reported success when mending their trees with shellac. Basically, shellac is a naturally occurring wax-like resin that’s produced by insects.
You can apply it to the split trunk just like any traditional tree pruning sealer, after which the trunk will be sealed and protected from damage.
Of course, mending a tree using the aforementioned technique isn’t always an option. If your tree’s trunk is split significantly on one side rather than going straight down the middle, it may be best to simply cut away the damaged section.
Cutting away a small portion of the tree shouldn’t cause any permanent, lasting damage. The tree will likely heal itself and continue to grow as normal.
If we can help with any of your tree care needs give us a call at 512-846-2535 or 512-940-0799 or