A popular topic these days is our record challenging winter here in Michigan. Many of you may have noticed the cracks that have developed on certain trees like sycamores and London planes as a result of the recent frigid temperatures. We recently read about Evanston, IL where the city removed over 60 trees that it felt had become hazardous as a result of cracking. Bob Bricault from the MSU Extension recently wrote on the topic:
Subzero weather is hardly anyone’s favorite time to look for problems in the landscape. Often we do not see damage that happens over winter until spring. Below zero temperatures can create some unique problems for landscape plants. One such problem, frost cracks, can permanently damage trees. Very low temperatures in Michigan this winter have left some trees with vertical cracks. These longitudinal openings referred to as frost cracks can extend deep into the wood of the tree. Certain trees tend to be more prone to this disorder. Most commonly it is seen in sycamores, but it also occurs in maples, apples, cherries, horse chestnuts, lindens, walnuts and willows.