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Subject: Evans Cherry tree
Category: General Interest
Posted On: June 16, 2006
From: Janet
Message: Hi Richbar, I purchased an Evans cherry tree from you 4 years ago, and sometime in the last year, the trunk split open about 1 1/2 feet above ground level. The split is vertical, about 4 inches long and quite wide open. It is currently in leaf and bloom but doesn't seem to be as vigourous as it was last year. What may have caused this and is there anything I can do to cover it, etc.?


From: Jean (June 19, 2006)
Message: Young fruit trees are susceptible to their bark cracking in late winter-early spring.This occurs when the day temperatures are quite warm but it still freezes at night. During the day the tissues warm up and then freeze at night. This often occurs on the south-west side of the tree. There is a way to prevent this from occuring again.In fall,wrap a white plastic tree guard around the tree trunk. This will reflect the sun and prevent the cracking from taking place.The tree guard is also useful to stop mice from girdling the tree, as they love to nibble on the bark under the snow. There are two thoughts on what you should do with the wound.Some people believe in using pruning paint to cover the wound, others don't. Most arbourists today do not use pruning paint as they believe that the tree will heal itself, and it will. If water is allowed to sit and not drain away from the wound it may become a site for fungal infection to begin.Clean the wound with a sharp knife or pruners so that the water will drain away. I would recommend you fertilize the tree with a water soluable fertilizer to help reduce the stress of the tree and improve its vigour. The water soluable fertilizer acts immediately, follow up with some granular all purpose fertilizer or some fruit tree stakes to kick in later on in the season. Next spring before the tree leafs-out apply the combination spray of Dormant Oil and Lime Sulphur .The dormant oil will help kill any insects that are overwintering under the bark and the lime sulphur is a preventative spray for fungal diseases.

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