Apple tree with splitting bark

RonnieSSOctober 15, 2013

I have a 20 year old Mutsu Apple tree that has been bearing fruit every year prolifically. This year the main trunk and a few main branches developed large cracks in August and watery sap leaked out wetting the bark around below the cracks. The tree has also developed a one foot square section of trunk area at the base of the tree where the outer layer of bark is dying leaving a brown crusty peeling bark instead of the silver smooth bark.
Is this a warning sign of some disease? I don't see any pests but the tree late in the season gets powdery mildew and has a small amount of fireblight this year for the first time. Does anyone have helpful suggestions of how to save the tree? I love the fruit!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
alan haigh

I'm used to getting a kind of cracking with Mutsus but not like the picture you show where it goes all the way to the wood. If it had showed up in early spring I'd suggest SW injury.

What is the fertilization history of the tree and lawn? I could imagine a tree doing that because of excess nitrogen and/or water or even as a result of excessive pruning.

If the tree is growing with normal vigor and your primary symptom is a cracked bark I doubt this is a life threatening issue but there should be clear callous already forming to close off the wound.

When asking for diagnosis of a problem you should always mention where the tree is growing and any information you have about the overall management of the tree and the turf it grows in. That also should include whether and with what the tree is sprayed and what the texture and drainage of the soil is.

If the mildew is drastically affecting the trees ability to harvest energy or if it leads to any level of defoliation it could very well be an issue and you should look to control it.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 5:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Thinning Pears
I have several varieties of pear trees (Bartlett, Comics,...
Table Grapes for the Southeast
It seems that most of my table grapes have not survived...
Goji Berries, where to buy seeds?
Hey, so this is my second year gardening, last year...
Prime-Ark Freedom Chill Hours
For anyone wondering, Prime-Ark Freedom appears to...
Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)
Do grape scion wood have to been last year's growth?
I have a 8-10 yr old grapevine that never bear any...
Sponsored Products
Iannone Design | Cork Mosaic Sideboard - Circle
Edushape Rollipop - 805801
$32.99 | Hayneedle
Large Duffle Artificial Christmas Tree Storage Bag
Trex Chairs Surf City Textured Silver Patio Bar Arm Chair with Tree House Slats
Home Depot
Set of Two Knit Scarf Ornaments
Grandin Road
Stickbulb | Sky Bang Chandelier
Charred One-Light Iron Elk with Pine Trees Table Lamp
$132.95 | Bellacor
Leaf Botanicals Coffee Mug - Set of Four
$29.99 | zulily
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™