Something both surprising and a little worrisome has happened to one of my favorite trees. A crack about 6 feet long and as wide as my pinky finger in some spots has opened up along the trunk of the oak that sits on the north side of our house.
As far as I can tell, the crack opened up over the weekend, likely the result of the fluctuations in temperatures over the past couple of weeks. Most Minnesotans would say it’s been just plain cold this entire month, but local weather sources here have recorded temperatures as low as 32 below zero F and as high as 32 above zero F over the past 10 days. I checked the University of Minnesota extension web site, which indicates that these cracks are not uncommon during severe cold. With luck, the tree will heal itself over the summer and survive with only a large scar to show for the experience. Without luck, the crack could be the entry point for insects or disease. Here’s hoping.