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Cottonwood Trees

Q.cracked bark on a newly planted cottonwood tree

Zone 5 | alice10 added on May 31, 2012 | Answered

We just bought and planted a 24 ft. cottonless cottonwood tree that has the bark cracked and somewhat broken 3 – 4 ft up the base of the tree. What should I do to repair this problem?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 4, 2012

It is likely winter damage. As long as the tree is not girdled (the bark broken around the circumference of the trunk, then you should let it heal on its own. As a precaution, you may want to treat the wound with a fungicide to ward off disease, but do not seal the wound, as this can trap disease in the wound.

Young trees have thin bark and winter sun can cause it to crack. You may want to consider wrapping the tree's trunk in tree paper for the next few winters, to prevent further cracking.

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