|NASTY CRACKS ON YOUNG MAPLE TREE TRUNK|
|OLDER SUGAR MAPLE BARK|
The bark of young maples often develops nasty looking cracks, as the sap migrates up the tree and then freezes and expands at nght. These cracks are often on the south side of the tree, but can occur anywhere. Normally these cracks heal over naturally, and they should not be wrapped or painted. Eventually, as the tree grows and the bark develops, the healed cracks become a part of the bark pattern.
Maple trees are thin-barked when young, but so are red oaks and many other species, which are not as prone to cracking because their sap does not rise so early in the spring. Thin bark is easily damaged, whether by frost cracks, rapid growth, or the winter sun reflecting off the sno, and also by rodents. For these reasons newly planted trees young trees should normally be protected by tree wrap, particularly if, as is usually the case, they have been grown in nursery rows where the trunks have been shaded and are not used to the sun. Tree wrap (whether paper, plastic or other material) should be removed after the first year and the bark allowed to toughen up during the second growing season after planting.
The ferry is now running, laboriously plowing through fresh ice in the “track” every morning. It is a tough morning workout.