Frost Crack

(Question)

One of my trees has a crack in it.  I read that that is not a good thing.  How can I fix it?

(Answer)

Your tree has developed a vertical  frost crack on the south/west side of the tree.  This happens during extreme cold temperatures when the sun hits the tree, warms the bark and then disappears behind a cloud causing the temperature to drop quickly.  The bark expands more than the inner layers and separates itself.  A crack then occurs in the bark. The crack can often be heard as a loud bang.  Frost cracks may heal themselves in the summer but will open again in the winter.  There is little to be done.  If there is loose bark it can be cut away with a sharp knife dipped in 10% bleach or 70% rubbing alcohol.  Do not add wound paints or tar.  The tree could be wrapped in the fall to reflect the heat of the sun but must be removed in early spring as soon as the weather warms up.