Split Linden tree trunk

Asked January 14, 2017, 9:47 AM EST

I have a Linden tree, 25 yrs. old, that is split up to 6.5" from the base of the trunk up about 16-18 feet. Tree was previously healthy last summer. Tree is approximately 35' tall, with in 20' of my home, southwest exposure. Does this need treatment? Should the tree be cut down?

Rice County Minnesota

1 Response

The splitting is from the winter freeze/thaw that we experience. I would also suspect that it's a result from the Polar Vortex cold snap that occurred (the temperature dropped 60 degrees in 24 hours). When plants aren't hardened off...or if we have warm winter days...the water in the plant cells can thaw. When the temperature drops at night, the water freezes, expanding the cell size, and this can cause cracks. Essentially it "bursts" the tissues. For more information see https://www.oakgov.com/msu/Documents/publications/oc0476_bark_splitting.pdf
Many trees live for many years but should be removed if there is significant loss of top growth (wait until summer to check).