I have what I think is a silver maple. The tree has the bark splitting in...

Asked May 3, 2015, 9:57 AM EDT

I have what I think is a silver maple. The tree has the bark splitting in several places and has what appears to other trunks growing inside making the bark split. We really don't want to loose this possible shade tree.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Wounds on trees can be caused by a number of things, animal damage, environmental damage, injury from equipment and more. In your case, it appears to be winter damage from sun scald/frost cracks. On the south to southwest facing side of the tree, the winter sun may heat up the cells, causing them to become active. Then when the sun goes down and the temperature drops dramatically, those cells are destroyed. The moisture in those cells causes the bark to split and what you are seeing is the inner part of the tree. Maple trees are more susceptible than some others due to their thinner bark. One of the problems with a canker like this is the possibility of disease. This tree may survive but it will always be weak. You may want to consider replacing it. You can read more about protecting trees from winter injury here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/landscaping/maint/trees.html