Trees have the ability to withstand natural elements, including extreme cold and heat. Even so, mother nature can induce some degree of injury. One common issue during winter is tree frost cracks. Learn the basics of frost-based cracks and whether it’s a cause for alarm if you have a tree on your property.
What Are Frost Cracks?
One may think frost cracks are caused by frost due to the name. However, the actual cause stems from sudden temperature changes. Winter frost can indeed be a factor, but it’s not the sole element. Frost cracks usually occur during chilly sunny days. The sun exposure causes the bark and wood to expand. Later in the evening when the temperature goes down, the bark shrinks back to its original size more quickly than the wood beneath. This leads to a vertical crack as the still-expanded wood exerts pressure on the bark as it shrinks.
Frost cracks are not a major cause for concern. Even when a crack forms, the tree is able to heal by forming a scab over the opening, much the same way people heal from a cut. One potential issue, though, is that the cracks leave an opening long enough for fungus and boring pests to get inside. In rare instances, this may require intervention from an emergency tree service. Just to be on the safe side, it may be a good idea to bring in a tree care professional for a general checkup.
As long as the bark is still present from both sides of the crack, then the tree will most likely heal by itself. You can help the tree by removing loose bark to prevent it from getting in the way of the scab that’s about to form. You can also minimize frost cracks altogether by planting smaller shrubs around the trunk perimeter. This provides a partial barrier against direct sunlight.
We Treat Frost Cracks Near Snohomish
Tree care and removal are common during early winter. Contact Pro-Cut Tree Service if you spot any vertical cracks in the bark. Though you don’t need to be concerned, it never hurts to err on the side of caution.
We Inspect for Tree Frost Cracks Near Snohomish
Serving customers in Lake Stevens, Edmonds, Marysville, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Everett, Snohomish and the surrounding area