Tree Trunk that split

Hello...my daughter has a Maple tree planted in her front yard. The trunk of the tree is splitting. It's edges sort of curl around so it's not actually a split, I guess that's the best way I can describe it. It's planted in a mostly sandy soil. Can you explain why the tree is sort of splitting in the middle of the trunk? The diameter is about 9 inches. Thank you. Frances
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Maples have relatively thin bark and are susceptible to sunscald injury over winter until the bark becomes thick and scaly. Usually the injury shows up on the south or southwest side of the tree. This is because the sun heats up that side of the tree on sunny winter days, and when it sets, the temperature drops quickly, allowing ice crystals to form just under the bark. The ice crystals split the plant cells, killing them. Often the injury doesn't show up until the following year (or even a couple of years later) until the growth of the tree's trunk splits open because of the dead tissue in that section.
If the tree still has thin bark, it may be helpful to wrap it with tree wrap over the winter. But remove the wrap during the growing season so that diseases won't get a foot hold under the wrap.
Trim back the loose bark to where it is firmly attached to the tree. But otherwise leave it exposed to sun and air to seal off the wound.


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