Tree bark splitting

Asked April 11, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

I have a Japanese red maple that is 14 years with major bark splitting on the main trunk and also on several of the main limbs. Is their any way to save this tree? I attached two photos for you to view. Thanks J. Giorgini Bear De 19701

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response

There is nothing you can do about this situation now. It may take a while for the tree to die, so I wouldn't cut it down right away. I would not recommend using gravel mulch in general around plants. Gravel does nothing to enrich the soil and provide organic matter, the way any organic material (like hardwood bark mulch or composted yard waste) does as it decomposes. Also, it looks like the gravel is fairly deep because I don't see a root flare at the base of the tree. That could also be because the tree was planted to deeply 14 years ago. Trees that are planted too deeply or have mulch mounded at their base often suffer.