American Mountain Ash tree bark spliting

Asked August 19, 2019, 6:33 PM EDT

Can this tree still be saved? If so, how? (And if not, what should I do?). It’s branches are mostly bare save for a few dead brown leaves and withered bunches of berries.

Whatcom County Washington

5 Responses

This looks pretty serious. It looks like the split involves the half of the diameter of the side facing the camera. How does the other side look? Is that the ony place it's split? Did it have leaves this summer? Fruit from this year? Take a sharp knife and scratch a couple branches to see if there's green under the bark. Please get back to me on the questions. Thanks.

Hi! Thank you for responding! Below is a picture of the other side. It did produce a few leaves and berry bunches but they are brown and wilted now. There doesn’t seem to be other splits but the thin outer bark is peeling away in several places. There doesn’t seem to be any green under the bark

It sound's like your tree won't make it. So sad...hate to see a tree die! This was probably due to an injury to the bark early in the season--warm sun, followed by freezing nights, followed by warm sun can do it. If you replant a mountain ash, you may want to paint the trunk with a mix of half water, half white latex paint. The will help to reflect the rays of the sun and would hopefully prevent the splitting bark problem, which is actually quite common in these trees.

That’s unfortunate, but thanks for the advice. I hope I’ll be able to avoid this situation in the future. Thank you!