October Glory Maple – Splitting at the Trunk

Q: I planted an ‘October Glory’ maple last October. Recently I have noticed a split, about 6 inches long in the bark. It is about 10 inches from the ground where the trunk is about 4 inches in diameter.

It appears that the trunk grew faster than the bark. What causes this and what should I do about it?

A: It could well be that the tree twisted or bent in one of the strong wind/rain storms we had in early May. It might also be an indication that it was planted too deeply. Just keep an eye on it and see if the tree shows any changes.