Old Maple Tree


The attached picture is of the maple tree in my backyard. It is about 50 years old and suffered damage in the ice storm a few years ago. The crack in the bark has me worried. I do not want to lose it as the shade makes that part of the yard very enjoyable but I don’t want it to come down in a storm and damage my or my neighbour’s property. Should I be worried? Do I need an arborist?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

I can see why you are concerned about your tree. The bark damage is quite extensive and could lead to many problems including pests and safety.

The tree appears to be close to buildings. Has there been construction in the last 8 years or òso? That could be a cause of the stresses it is experiencing.

When a large tree is struggling it should definitely be seen by a certified arborist. There are so many parameters and issues that could be at play here. It will take a trained eye on sight to diagnose the cause of the problem and decide what options are available to you. They are also knowledgeable about safety around trees and the city bylaws that may come into play here.

You can find a certified arborist on the Landscape Ontario site:


or on the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) site ( they have an Ontario Chapter)  https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist/findanarborist

Good Luck!