My Poor Maple Tree

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Old 10-24-19, 07:15 PM
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My Poor Maple Tree

Hi All,

I have a couple of questions about my 15ish year old maple tree.

First the easy one. I'm pretty sure these are woodpecker marks, right?



Second, I have what seem to be pretty severe splits in the bark. This one on the west side and a smaller one on the south side. What do you think?

 
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Old 10-25-19, 06:06 AM
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Show a photo from farther back. I would say the portion with the split bark is dead and should be removed.
 
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Old 10-25-19, 08:13 AM
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What is the overall condition of the tree?

Yes, it looks like woodpecker holes. The more concerning part is that the woodpeckers are going after insects living under the bark.

The bark is split. Some trees do it more than others. Many maples are prone to it and it's often caused by the sun (sun scald)or freezing temperatures. It can also be the result of the trees growth, insect damage or flexing during high winds. In most cases bark splits aren't too harmful and the tree will recover. But... those splits are injuries that leave openings for insects and diseases.
 
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Old 10-25-19, 10:28 AM
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Pilot- The tree has been struggling the last few years. I have been feeding it and trying to balance the soil ph. I can certainly spray for bugs, but with winter coming on, is now the right time?

Wirepuller- Here's another picture. Sorry, but the sun was on the other side.

 
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Old 10-25-19, 10:40 AM
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Fertilizing can cause bark splitting. It can cause the tree to grow faster than it's bark can handle, sort of like stretch marks for humans.

If the cracked bark is mainly on the south facing side of the tree then it can be caused by the sun. If the cracking is all around the trunk then it can be caused by freezing weather if you are in a northerly location. Both are the result of expansion and contraction caused by temperature change.
 
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Old 10-25-19, 11:08 AM
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Well, there has been fertilizer and temperature extremes so I expect that's it.

Thanks for the info!
 
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