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Although they may look solid—even invulnerable—tree trunks crack for several reasons: frost, lightning, internal decay, and more. While they may die due to cracking, trees can survive with proper care and a bit of luck. If you have noticed that one of your property’s trees is splitting, reach out to an arborist for professional tree maintenance.

Timber Works Tree Care offers this service in and around Warrenton, VA. We are also the region’s provider of professional tree removal, tree trimming, forestry mulching, and firewood services. Our safe and professional practices, along with our customer service, ensure that every project receives the attention it deserves. Moreover, we protect our employees and customers with Workers’ Comp and liability insurance. To learn more or get a free project estimate, fill out our online form today!

Below, we outline what causes tree trunks to split, how to treat damaged trees, and suggest a few protective measures:

Causes of Tree Trunk Splits

  • Frost cracks and extreme heat
    Extreme temperature fluctuations can wreak havoc on trees. For instance, frost cracking occurs when thin-barked trees receive direct sunlight on cold days. Sunlight warms the trees’ bark and inner wood, but when temperatures drop at dusk, the wood shrinks and trunks split.

    Once formed, cracks grow with further temperature fluctuations. Water can enter and expand when frozen. Moreover, extreme heat cracks even thick bark. 
  • Lightning strikes
    Although rare for even tall trees, lightning does strike from time to time. A minor incident can create surface crackling while a direct hit may destroy a tree. Lightning strikes are a terrifying reminder of nature’s awesome power. 
  • Impacts
    Your trees are subject to all of Virginia’s extreme weather—heavy rains and high winds can cause significant damage. Gusts can pick up small objects and throw them against tree trunks, cracking them. Moreover, the wind can wrench weak limbs from trees, leaving open wounds and cracks. 
  • Internal decay
    Insects and diseases damage and kill trees every year, particularly those with wounds. Once infested or infected, it begins to rot from the inside. Splitting trunks are a common sign of internal tree decay. But rather than diagnose this problem on your own, reach out to a tree service expert for inspection.

Service Options

If you notice one of your trees has cracks, contact a professional tree service provider. That professional will inspect the damage and determine whether your tree can be saved. Bark splitting, for instance, can be corrected with cables or rods, while removing dead or rotting limbs can salvage trees as a whole.

Nevertheless, a severe crack can kill a tree outright, give it a dangerous lean, and/or provide infestations and diseases an entry point. These cases call for tree removal, which Timber Works offers home and business owners throughout Northern Virginia.

Protection Against Splitting

Although your trees must contend with nature’s forces, you can protect them with the help of tree services. For instance, preventative pruning reduces the danger of limbs breaking off and cracking their tree’s trunk. Removing dead or dying trees also eliminates falling hazards that may damage other trees.

Some winter tree care, in particular, helps protect against temperature fluctuations. Adding a layer of mulch around your trees insulates roots, preserves underground moisture, and provides nutrients. These factors, along with proper watering, helps your tree from becoming brittle and cracking.

Tree Maintenance Services Available for Home and Business Owners in Warrenton, VA

Tree Maintenance Warrenton VATimber Works Tree Care can inspect and help you with a splitting tree trunk thanks to our professional tree maintenance services. Our team of service experts is equipped with the tools and knowledge to help with all your tree care needs. We work with homeowners and businesses throughout Warrenton, VA, and the surrounding region. Moreover, we cover Workers’ Comp and insurance to protect our employees and our clients. Call us today at (540) 692-9606 or fill out our online form to get a free project estimate.


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