What is wrong with my Autumn Blaze maple?
This is the bark/trunk of an autumn blaze maple that we planted 3-4 years ago.
It is leafing out ok this year. Last year we did have a horrific drought...I deep watered at least once a week. This year we are over 13" ahead on rain for the year.
The bark is doing some splitting, and the split areas feel a tad soft...but it still feels like the bark is adhered to the rest of the trunk ,except maybe 1/4" inch or so on either sides of the cracks.
My bigger concern is the pic of the lower trunk crack. I apologize for the pic quality...but the bark at that crack seems softer and looks yellowish to dark brown. I can only post one pic somehow, so I'll add this second pic in another post.
This is the southwest side of the tree. Cracks do not occur on other sides.
Is this sunscald? Or, is it something worse?
I am paranoid because my neighbor just lost a maple this spring. Its bark peeled off completely and the entire trunk was cracked (roughly same tree size as us, different variety of maple).