There are many reasons why a tree trunk can split. Strong winds or extreme temperatures can damage trees, or pest infestations or diseases can weaken them. While a split tree trunk is not necessarily a death sentence for a tree, it can be challenging to repair the damage and return the tree to optimum health. 

It can be difficult to determine whether it is worth saving a damaged tree. If you are unsure whether you can save a split tree on your property, it is best to consult with a certified arborist. The expert team at Southeast Tree can help! From pruning to tree trimming in Marietta by Southeast Tree, your trees deserve the best care.

What Can Cause a Split Tree Trunk?

Shifting Temperatures

The most common cause of a split tree trunk is frost crack. If you’re living in an area with a temperate climate, the temperature shift can damage the trunk. During cold weather, tree trunks contract, while during warm weather, trunks will expand. The constant size shift will cause vertical cracks.

Frost cracks can also occur in areas with constant cold weather. When the tree trunk contracts repeatedly, the stress can cause fractures along the trunk.

Pest and Disease Damage

Insect pests and diseases can cause cracks along a tree trunk, especially if left untreated. Wood-eating insects such as termites, carpenter ants, and long-horn beetles can cause holes through the trunk. If the infestation becomes severe enough, the number of holes will weaken the trunk and cause a complete split.

Insect feeding can cause entry woods in trunks, allowing pathogens to cause secondary infections. There are fungal and bacterial pathogens that attack tree trunks. Cytospora canker, for example, is caused by ascomycete fungi. The disease blocks the tree’s vascular system and disrupts the nutrient flow. Over time, the tree weakens, and the trunk can split.

Physical Damage

Physical forces can also damage tree trunks. Natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes can split tree trunks. Lightning strikes can split a tree trunk and burn the tree as well.

Even human activity can accidentally damage a trunk. If you’re working with power tools or heavy machinery, you can hit the trunk inadvertently and cause it to split.

Can Trees with Split Trunks Be Saved?

You can save trees with split tree trunks depending on the severity of the damage. If it is only a minor break or limited to a small portion of the trunk, you can cut away the damaged part and allow the tree to heal.

For major damages, you have several options for tree repairs. You can bolt the split trunk back together or use a steel rod as a brace. The important thing is to stabilize the trunk as much as possible by closing the split. While the crack won’t close completely, the tree will no longer fall apart and allow the crack to widen.  

Let Us Help You Save Your Trees

Repairing a split tree trunk is not an easy job. Luckily, our certified arborists have years of experience with tree repairs! We can find the best way to save your trees and nurse them back to health. However, there might be times when tree repairs are not possible. In those cases, you can call Southeast Tree for complete tree removal services in or around Marietta, GA.

Do you have a tree close to your home or business? Learn more about tree emergencies and call us to help protect your property from a dangerous tree.

Call Southeast Tree today at 770-977-8733 to find the best solution for a split tree trunk on your property in Marietta, GA.


SoutheastTree is one of the best, top rated full-service tree removal companies serving the Atlanta, GA area. Our team of trained arborists are experts in the art and science of removing trees.

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4710 Lower Roswell Rd. Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30068

Phone : 770-977-8733 (TREE)

24/7 Emergency Tree Removal:
(678) 631-7382

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