What caused this?
This is a Damson plum I got from ADF several years ago as a 18" whip. It is just begginning it's 4th or 5th year and as you can see has grown phenomenally. It was even started in a pot and when transplanted was root bound as all get out, infact: roots had punched thru the plastic pot as I had buried the pot for winter.
This has to be the easiest fruit tree you could possibly grow. This is bothered by NOTHING except plum curculio. I don't even spray it anymore.
This spring I noticed (even before leaf out) that the bark had cracked terribly. As you can see it was cracking everywhere around the trunk and up into the tree.
Surprisingly the tree seems to be suffering no ill effects from this other than a lighter than normal crop load.
I LOVE this tree...the fruit smells SO good and the flesh is unbelievable sweet. It would be too sweet if not balanced by the ultra tart skin. I don't want to loose this beauty.
BTW...I just bought this place not quite 4 years ago. Can you believe that growth?...and I pruned it hard once.