fall injury leading to bark splits now

windfall_rob(vt4)May 29, 2013

I have a honeycrisp that is around 4-5" in diameter, still smooth barked on the trunk.
Last fall we had several visits from a bear. Broke some smaller branches, many small claw punctures in the bark on trunk, and some longer vertical gouges of 1-2"

just today I noticed that the tree has developed long splits extending vertically from those longer cuts. They look like expansion splits from cambium with the surface torn open maybe 1/16"-1/8".
I am positive they were not there in fall and virtually certain they were not present at winters end (freeze damage)...I really think they are new within the past weeks
We have had the heavy prolonged rain that many have and I am wondering if this could be a contributing factor.

It's not something I am worried about, I think the tree will heal fine from the damage, but it is a new one to me...is it merely a tree growing vigorously enough that it split at a point of weakness, or is something more involved at play?

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