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What can I do to save this maple?

Posted by lucretia1 7/8 PNW (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 17, 11 at 14:44

I noticed some loose bark at the fork of my JM, and when I looked under it I found a big crack running down the trunk. If you look closely at lower left side of the wound in the second picture, it looks like the cambium is growing to try to cover things back up. (It's also growing on the other side, but it doesn't show in the photo.) I was thinking of getting a long bolt and drilling a hole/inserting the bolt in the trunk to keep it from splitting further. Does this sound reasonable? Is there anything else I can do to help the tree, or does it look like a goner?

Here's the tree:





And here's a closer look:


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What can I do to save this maple?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 18, 11 at 1:11

Depends on what's wrong with it. Looks pretty bad, not sure it is going to pull through at this point. How much spring leaf out and new growth comes later will be a sign.

If it is sun scald wrapping the stem could prevent additional damage.


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RE: What can I do to save this maple?

I'll give wrapping the truck a shot--at this point it couldn't hurt anything. Thanks!


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RE: What can I do to save this maple?

This is a really poor tree, it should never have left the nursery as anything but compost or wood chips. The branch join is at a poor angle, probably has occluded bark and is very weak. You may be able to save it with cabling or bolting, but be prepared to loose it. I do see some healing where the bark is loose so it could have a slim chance, but it will always be a poor tree. When you replace it look for a quality tree with strong branch unions. As a side note, a lot of people over fertilize trees which causes them to grow too fast for the bark to grow properly. This makes them vulnerable to frost cracks and sun scold, especially true for thin bark trees like Japanese Maples.

Here is a link that might be useful: A bit about branch uniouns.


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