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Why Does Tree Bark Crack?

A few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of tree bark in protecting the interior tissues of tree branches and trunks. Bark protects a tree in much the same way our skin protects our veins, muscles, and nerves. That is to say, when bark begins to crack, it can be bad news for the tree. There are a few things that can make tree bark crack; keeping these things in mind is a great way to perform preventative care for your trees.

Fluctuating Growth

Young trees, just like people, undergo growth spurts. Rainy weather after a drought can also result in sudden tree growth. Vigorous growth can result in cracks in the bark along branches and limbs.

Frost Cracks

When the temperature drops in the winter, moisture within the deeper tissues of the branches freezes and expands. This increased pressure from inside the tree can make the tree bark crack. Ice crystals may even form inside the extracellular spaces of the tree bark, which causes cracks that span deep into the tree. These types of bark cracks can occur beginning at 27 degrees Fahrenheit.


During the winter, sunlight will warm trees with thin bark, and then temperatures will drop drastically after the sun goes down. This shocks the tree bark and can even kill it. Usually, the effects of this type of tree bark damage will not be noticeable until the spring. If you have a tree that has sensitive, thin bark, you may want to consider a limewash.

Herbicide Damage

Many homeowners who prefer to apply herbicides themselves make the mistake of using glyphosate. This is a type of non-selective herbicide that will kill anything that comes in contact with it. When applied near a tree, the glyphosate can weaken a tree’s bark and increase the chances of sunscald. Porter Tree Services offers deep root fertilization and tree injections that treat the tree directly and will not spread harmful chemicals around your yard. These services can ensure that your tree is healthy and does not experience tree bark crack.

Get In Touch With Porter Tree Services Today

Porter Tree Services can provide you with help in keeping any trees you plant healthy and strong for years to come. Call us today to ask about our tree treatment programs and tree maintenance services!

If you are in need of tree services in Baltimore, Perry Hall, Fallston, Monkton, Timonium, Parkton, Kingsville, Bel Air, Reisterstown, or Nottingham, Porter Tree Services is here to help! From emergency tree removal to fertilization and treatment plans, our licensed tree experts will help you with whatever problems that have taken root!

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