Shishigashira - Did I kill it?!
I've browsed Gardenweb for quite awhile but this is my first post. I've been slowly landscaping my front yard by trial and error the last four years. This could be long story so I'll skip to the point. I have an acer palmatum 'Shishigashira' as a focal point and I love it!
Last late fall (ok, December) I experimented with lasagna gardening and naively layered manure, newspaper, straw, and compost everywhere, including against my Shishigashira's trunk - please don't judge! Later I learned you don't put compost against tree trunks but, with all the snow, the ground ended up being not much higher than it was before so I hoped to escape trouble.
While winterizing the gardens yesterday I noticed the bark at the very base of the Shishi's trunk has some horizontal and vertical splits that look deep with kind of a "buckling" appearance around those splits. They probably effect about 1/3 of the the way around the 2-3 inch trunk. My little tree did fine all summer and has a nice fall color orange (not terribly bright foliage but last year had skipped the color altogether and went from green straight to brown) so I think it likes the compost. It's been in four years, gets morning to early afternoon sun and not much wind. Winters are very cold and snowy, summers are very hot and dry - we range from 0 to100+ degrees here.
What about these splits at the trunk base? Is that damage from the compost? I pulled the dirt and compost away from the base. Now what do I do? Is there a way to bandage up the trunk? I really love this tree and would hate to lose it!