Like all plants, trees are susceptible to damage caused by poor weather and disease. Symptoms of both are normally present, as a disease may cause discoloration while severe temperature changes can cause a split in the trunk. 

When examining a tree for a potential split, remember that many trees have naturally-occurring cracks and split throughout the bark. Some trees also shed bark naturally. If you find a crack or split, it should be well-defined and abnormal. 

Though you may see a tree trunk splitting in your yard, you can potentially repair the tree rather than cut it down. However, if the tree has fallen or the split is complete, you should contact tree removal service in Marietta by SoutheastTree

Potential Tree Trunk Splitting Causes

Severe changes in weather or temperature cause tree trunk splitting. During the winter, a phenomenon known as sunscald may occur. Sunscald happens during the winter when the sun warms up the tree during the day and then the tree freezes at night. 

You can see sunscald on the south or southwest side of your trees. It often causes the bark to split and permanent noticeable damage. 

Split trees also occur during the winter or early spring seasons when they are constantly freezing and thawing due to varying temperatures. This is known as frost cracking. Frost cracking displays itself through vertical cracks in trees. 

Occasionally, a tree may split due to internal decay. Oftentimes, internal decay stems from disease, which should show up externally in most cases. If you suspect your tree has a disease, you should call a tree service to cure or to remove it. 

What to Do If Your Tree Splits

Many trees survive splits if they are not too deep. In these cases, you have a couple of options to repair the tree. Otherwise, tree trunks splitting completely in half must be removed by a professional.  

How to Repair It

There are a few repair options: 

  • Remove the scarring: When you remove a wound, the tree heals faster. Thus, if you cut out the scarring from an event such as sunscald, the tree can repair itself quicker. 
  • Bolts: You can drive bolts into the trunk to hold together the split pieces. Drill at least three holes, insert the bolts, and put a washer on the end for better support. 
  • Tape broken limbs: You can reattach newly broken branches to prevent damage to the trunk. Do this method by using duct tape or other methods. Make sure that you reattach the limb correctly so the tree can heal properly. 

To prevent splitting, you can also wrap young trees in reflective white paper to insulate them against freezing temperatures. Make sure to remove the covering in spring when it warms up. You can also fertilize and water young trees throughout the year to prepare them for winter. 

When to Remove It

Sometimes if the split is too deep or the tree has already split in half, you must remove it. If you are concerned about your tree, you should call an expert to check it out. Trees can cause major property and environmental damage when they fall. 

Contact an Expert in Marietta, GA

If you notice a tree trunk splitting in your yard, contact SoutheastTree. We offer affordable tree removal services 24/7, in case of emergency. We also offer free custom quotes catered to your needs. 

If you’re interested in more information on trees from our team of experts, you can also check out topics such as what to do with girdling roots in our blog. Contact our Marietta, GA location at (770) 977-8733 with all your questions about tree service today. 


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)

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