PROBLEM ON BARK OF JAPANESE MAPLE

Asked January 28, 2018, 7:16 PM EST

ATTACHED IS A PICTURE OF MY JAPANESE MAPLE. IS THIS CONDITION SERIOUS? COULD YOU TELL ME WHAT IT IS? REMEDIES? THANK YOU JAVIER BUENO

Clackamas County Oregon japanese maples

1 Response

Thank you for your question about your Japanese maple, Javier. Bark splitting is typically a reaction to unusual environmental conditions. That can be too much heat or cold, or even changes in the amount of water. Did you notice a premature drop in the tree’s leaves the last summer and fall, as well? Japanese maples have shallow root systems, and need more water than other maple species. The potential problem with bark split is an infestation of fungi, bacteria and/or insects. But most healthy plants are resilient if left to their own devices. So don’t apply any tar or sealant, and keep monitoring the tree to see if it heals on its own. And, when it gets dry this summer, be sure to water thoroughly every 3 days or so. Good luck— and write back if you see other symptoms of potential problems!