I Have a young white gold cherry tree planted approximately two years ago....

Asked August 23, 2014, 8:51 AM EDT

I Have a young white gold cherry tree planted approximately two years ago. The tree seems to be healthy and has exhibited good growth this summer but has developed a 2 inch vertical slit exposing its core in the trunk. The width of the slit is approximately 1/4 inch wide. I sprayed the opening with pruning seal to protect it and hopefully help it heal. Should I be worried about the health of my tree and is there anything I need to do. Thanks.

Prince William County Virginia fruit vertical slit in trunk cherry trees

3 Responses

You can send photos of the tree and trunk damage so we can see what you are referring to. A possibility is a growth crack. They usually appear when the tree is growing rapidly during periods of abundant rainfall. See our website http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/shade-trees-frost-cracks-sunscald-growth-cracks

We do not recommend pruning paint as it can interfere with the healing process. Keep your tree well watered during dry periods. Make sure mulch is not thicker than several inches and keep away from the trunk.
mh

I have taken some pictures of the area I was referring to. Please see attached photos.

The crack in the trunk does not look like a growth crack. We cannot say for sure what caused the damage. May have been some damage to the trunk or a canker. http://extension.umd.edu/learn/cankers-trees-and-shrubs
There are no cures for cankers other than pruning back to healthy tissue. Since this is in the main trunk this is not possible and will most likely be a weak spot in the tree. All you can do is keep the tree well watered during dry periods. Keep mulch no thicker than several inches and away from the base of the trunk.
Since the tree is young you may also want to consider replacement.
mh