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. Continue Reading →