Monday, August 2, 2010

Good Morning, Maple

I hope my maple tree’s enjoying the summer as much as I am. This is its busiest time of the year. Its leaves have to soak up enough sunlight to make food to fuel its summertime growth as well as the long, cold winter when the leaves are gone.

We’ve had a hot, dry summer and I’m sure that’s been a challenge for the tree. My maple also has to fight off insects and the damage I cause by cutting off branches that hang so low they threaten to whack visitors in the head as they walk up our sidewalk to the front door. Sorry, tree.

The tree also seems to suffer another kind of damage, and unfortunately, I can’t explain what is causing it. I’ve been studying this “tear” in the maple’s bark for a while now, and I’m at a loss.

At first, I wondered about a lightning strike, but then I discovered to other tears farther up the tree. It seems impossible that the tree would be struck three separate times. I know lightning can strike tall objects multiple times, but the location of the damage makes me think that a lightning bolt probably isn’t the culprit.

So I have no idea what's to blame or if the damage is harmful to the tree. My neighbor thinks maybe that’s just how Norway maples grow, but I'm not convinced of that. After all, the tear allows insects to infiltrate the bark much more easily. That’s never a good thing.
If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.


  1. I've enjoyed your observations about your maple, but also don't know what might be the cause of the damage. Best of luck and I'll keep checking in to see what you discover.

    Also, I have nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award (see the link below). Thanks for all you do to promote reading.

    happy reading,

  2. I Googled "tear in tree bark" and this website: says that in times of drought, the bark of the Acacia gum tree splits. Since you are having a drought, it's possibly the same reason?

  3. Hmm, you might be right. Thanks, Patricia.