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Split Trunk on Maple Tree

Q: A good friend of mine has two large, lovely maples on either side of her driveway, and one of them has a large split down the trunk.

Is there anything she can do to repair it, or stop it from splitting worse. She is just sick about her beautiful tree.
Thanks, Wendy

A: I recommend having an arborist inspect the tree. If the split is between 2 separate trunks, then installing 1 or more cables up in the crown between the trunks may solve the problem.

If the split is in the trunk itself, an arborist will have to determine if the split goes all the way through or if it is only superficial. If the split does go all the way through, the tree should probably be removed because it could fail in many many ways that may not be preventable with bracing (installing 1 or more threaded rods all the way through the tree, perpendicular to the split).

This is definitely NOT a do-it-yourself task, especially if the trees are large. We have industry standards for installing support systems in trees that should be adhered to, and this is why you should call in an arborist who is knowledgeable about them.

He or she will have to determine whether or not the split is too great to rely on the hardware to try to support it and hold the tree together, and may have to recommend removal for safety's sake if a support system doesn't seem adequate or appropriate. However, this is something that can only be determined by assessing the situation in person.

To find an arborist in your area, go the the International Society of Arboriculture's website.

On their main page you will find a menu on the left that says Find a Certified Arborist. Click on this, type in either your postal code or your city, and you'll get a list of Certified Arborists who should be able to help you.

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Tom Mugridge

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