You can try to discourage them by wrapping the trunks with wire mesh. Its blooms are fragrant and gorgeous, and the lilac’s scent is unmistakable. It also has a distinctive dark bark with white lenticels. Some cultivars, such as ‘Copper Curls’ lilac, have ornamental peeling and curling bark. Frost crack is distinct from sun scald and sun crack and physically differs from normal rough-bark characteristics as seen in mature oaks, pines, poplars and other tree species. A couple of inches of mulch around the base of the tree is helpful. Carefully pruning infected branches and removing damaged bark without cutting into healthy cambium may help the tree recover as the area heals. Japanese lilac tree trunks with wide crevices may never look as good as new, but you can repair the damage. Through proper treatment to encourage the natural callusing process, a tree should be able to close most splits. They require fertilizing in the early spring with a 5-10-10 mixture; chemical mixtures with high nitrogen levels will produce more leaves than flowers. Syringa vulgaris, the common lilac, is reportedly the most affected species. These varieties, along with “Chantilly Lace” and “Cameo Jewel,” thrive in full sunlight and well-draining soil. In this case, I feel the cause for the cracking was due to the tree growing quickly, faster than the bark could keep up with the growth of the tree. The “Summer Snow” and “Ivory Silk” cultivars, with their rounded shapes and reddish-brown trunks, may grow from 20 to 30 feet tall and 15 to 25 feet wide. According to Gardening Know How, “Peeling tree bark is sometimes due to environmental factors. Environmental factors are usually to blame when a lilac is shedding tree bark. Lilac is a fragrant, spring-flowering upright multi-stemmed, large deciduous shrub or small, multi-stemmed tree that normally grows about 6–7 m (20–23 ft.) tall. Bark splits are not likely to be fatal to trees, although they will, in some cases, allow entry of disease organisms which can cause decay. The best solution is to let the wound callous over naturally. Usually, it’s normal for a tree to lose bark. In most cases, the damage from lilac bark shedding isn’t serious. Lilac bushes are spring blooming plants with aromatic flowers. Small patches may develop, consisting of only a few inches. They grow well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 3 (minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 30 F) through zone 7 (10 F) and in somewhat warmer regions. I have put chicken wire around it for now to protect it and am thinking about using tree … If the break is even, draw the two sections together. This will be necessary to keep it from splitting further and to allow the tree to heal over the wound. Bark splitting can occur in response to various environmental factors at different times of the year. If so, what can I do? Fortunately, the tree will probably be fine. Any advise would be GREATLY appreciated. The densely growing limbs of the bush are propagated through division. Japanese lilac trees thrive in alkaline soil containing a pH balance of 7.0 or higher. Splits can occur on the trunk of the tree as well as on branches. Here is more information about this problem: Sunscald and frost cracking can cause strips of bark to peel off, exposing the tree’s inner wood. While it is a more common occurrence on younger trees, all trees are susceptible to bark splitting when exposed to the following: Sloughing or peeling of the bark is a normal process, especially in the spring when the tree begins to grow, and is more noticeable in some species than in others. Peeling bark on lilacs doesn’t always indicate a problem. Japanese Lilac (Syringa reticulata). Water the tree in dry weather so that, within time, the wooden trunk area will toughen and callus. It makes an irregularly round exit hole when it emerges from the tree. Trees which are most susceptible to this type of injury are those which are thin-barked, such as certain fruit trees. Lilac Troubles: White Mold & Bark Eating 'Bees' Q. I've been noticing white stuff on the trunk of my lilac bush. The inside of the tree at the base is fully exposed. If larger lichens attach themselves to the lilac tree, there is possibly a deeper problem with the tree's health. Other trees, like oak, pine, ash, and maple, develop from the inside out, so the older bark on top chips away to make room for new bark. Nurture the tree so that it will bond the ends together, produce new growth and heal the split. Dry weather followed by wet weather causes fluctuating growth, resulting in splits in the bark. Grown for its scented purple flowers in spring, this large shrub or small tree is widely cultivated and has been naturalized in parts of Europe and North America. Pull the split together. Its larva bores into the base of branches, causing severe damage. This is a very interesting small ornamental tree with white, showy flowers in the spring and tan fruit in the fall and winter. Do I need to cut the bark at the split to help the bark to mend back together? Bark and Tree Splitting. Trees that are most susceptible to this type of injury are those with thin bark, such as certain fruit trees. Sunscald generally occurs in high altitude landscaping during late winter and early spring, affecting the south and southwest side of the tree. Splitting bark on a Japanese lilac tree can be caused by rapidly changing temperatures, especially when freeze-thaw cycles occur in winter, or rapidly changing water conditions, like a drought followed by heavy rains. Remove the cord from the tree. Young trees are more susceptible than older ones, but you may see the problem in trees of any age. Eliminate the torn bark. For some species, like sycamore, silver maple, and birch, shedding large chunks of bark is just one of their charms! You will also see late fall growth spurts when you use too much nitrogen fertilizer late in the season. The lilac gets a lot of sun—from around 1:30 pm until sunset. What Causes Tree Bark Splitting. Bark splitting can occur in response to various environmental factors at different times of the year. Use a large-diameter steel bolt and threaded screw rod to repair the split. These medium-sized trees are appropriate for most home landscapes and they make well-behaved street trees. This often happens at the site of a previous injury. Being able to recognize the wood boring insects found in a tree is essential when making informed decisions on the need for control. Grapefruit Tree Problems With Bark Cracking and Splitting. One or two inches of water during dry periods are needed. The damage looks consistent with squirrels, although other critters can attack young trees (deer, rabbits, voles, etc.) Dieback on common lilac due to fungal infection. I have a Mimosa tree with a split in the main trunk at a Y. Winch the sections back together. Plant in either spring or fall. Native to Asia, it is both hardy and beautiful, with attractive, amber-colored, peeling bark. Wrap a strong cord or rubber strap around the trunk and pull the tree’s sides closer together. Bark splitting occurs due to a variety of environmental factors, such as sharp temperature changes that freeze and thaw water. While the wound heals, watch for insects that may infest the exposed wood and spread diseases. Sunscald can cause unsightly bark damage. This occurs with high temperatures or humidity in late fall. Sign up for our newsletter. Your lilac is valuable to you, I know, but if the trunk is severely split … There is no single reason for bark and wood splitting, according to Cornell University’s department of plant pathology, but tree growth will lessen in the spring and summer if the ground is abnormally dry. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Drought followed by hard and numerous rains may split the tree’s bark and trunk. However, your photos show something more extreme happening. There is no single reason for bark splitting on trees. ---Linda in West Chester A. Lichen on Bark. In fact, it’s commonly used in perfumes and fragrant lotions because it’s known to trigger pleasant memories and happy feelings. Drill several holes in the tree, close to the split, and insert the bolts. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Spring is also a good time but avoid periods of freezing weather. Japanese lilac trees (Syringa reticulata) produce fragrant, off-white flowers which bloom in early summer. I would like to save the tree from splitting the rest of the way and losing half or all of the tree. It's very difficult to repair a shrub or tree, though I have seen it done for valuable specimen trees. If not, then the side with little or no bark will eventually die, since the part directly under the bark is what feeds the branches and leaves. My Japanese Maple of 15 year is loosing its trunk bark. If the tree is growing quickly, the growth can also cause the bark to split. Here are the most common causes of splitting or shedding bark: Rapid freeze and thaw cycles sometimes cause splitting and peeling bark on lilacs. Emerald ash borers leave tree bark looking like it is splitting, and you will typically see “wavy galleries where larvae have chewed thorough the bark,” according to Davis. New growth will bandage the crack and new bark will cover the scar. The Bark Is Splitting on My Autumn Blaze Maple Tree, Cornell University: Bark Splitting on Trees, University of California: Managing Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Wood Decay Fungi in Landscape Trees, University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture: Bark Splitting, University of California: Managing Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Syringa, Lilac, Japanese, North Carolina State University: Trees: Damage. However, rapidly-moving extreme temperatures -- from below freezing to above, for example -- and strong inclement weather may cause the bark and trunk to split on a Japanese lilac tree, especially one that is recently planted. Sorry Linda, but that is NOT a lot of sun, and it's the way wrong kind of sun for a lilac. A tree with peeling bark doesn’t always indicate a problem. Japanese lilac trees with bark or trunk splits are not in danger of dying because of the damage. Ron Noble (author) on June 01, 2019: You may want to contact a local arborist to physically inspect your tree and to recommend any treatment for the fungus and to limit the damage to your catalpa. Drill a hole into both sides of the split. Inspect the lilac bush for signs of powdery mildew, a fungus that appears like a dusty white or grey coating on the leaf and trunk. The bark becomes swollen, and eventually cracks and breaks away. Repair the split. However, left untreated, they can attract insects and fungi that can lead to infestation and disease. The trees prefer direct sunlight but they do not typically enjoy extremely warm climates. Trees That Have Peeling Bark. Now that you know what causes bark to peel on lilac trees, you’re probably wondering how to treat the problem. Some bark shedding is natural with lilacs and some tree lilacs have a natural shaggy look. Bark injury is sometimes caused by sunscald; the freezing of bark following abnormally high winter temperatures. Probably the most serious problem to look for when lilac bark is coming off is the lilac borer moth. Water well to provide moisture and settle the soil down. You can extend your display of lilac tree flowers for as much as 6 weeks by planting different lilac tree varieties Secure a winch 6 feet above the split. According to the North Dakota Extension Service, the best time to split and transplant a lilac bush will be in the late fall or … Frost cracking occurs with extreme temperatures from cold to hot and back again, producing a long, vertical fissure down the center of the tree trunk. Lightning strikes can also fracture the bark, but that damage is usually more pronounced and easier to identify. Splits can occur on the trunk of the tree as well as on branches. If you see bark covering the wood after the old bark peels away, the tree is probably undergoing a normal shedding process. Your lilac tree should be planted to the same depth as it came in the pot. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. The tree may also have vertical cracks or missing bark. If you see bare wood or mats of fungus under the peeling bark, the tree is suffering from environmental damage or disease. In early summer it has large, creamy-white, honey-scented flower clusters. S. reticulata the tree lilac, is also susceptible.Whether specific cultivars are affected more than others is unknown mainly because most people don't know the cultivar. Splitting bark is rarely serious, although it can allow disease organisms into the plant, but diffuse or target-shaped cankers can be lethal. Look at the bark on the bush. Lilacs are best planted in autumn when the ground is moist but still relatively warm. Recent studies show that wound paints and sealers don’t help the tree heal faster, and may even slow the natural healing process. Lilac trees make beautiful additions to the home landscape, with flowers much like those on lilac shrubs but without the fragrance. When peeling bark on trees is limited to the south or southwest side of the tree and bare wood is exposed, the problem may be sunscald [sic] or frost damage. Japanese lilacs are hardy trees that prefer cold weather. As a tree grows in size, lichen are unable to attach themselves to the extending bark. The irregular, bright orange curls are perfectly normal and part of what makes the tree interesting in winter. Trim away loose bark on the tree. Is the proper fix a brace, or bolt the Y in place? Why is my tree losing its bark? The irregular, bright orange curls are perfectly normal and part of what makes the tree … Syringa vulgaris (lilac or common lilac) is a species of flowering plant in the olive family Oleaceae, native to the Balkan Peninsula, where it grows on rocky hills. The common lilac tree, also known as Syringa vulgaris, is universally popular among flower fans. Tree bark can split or crack for many reasons, and you cannot fix it. Plant your lilac tree in a sunny spot, where your lilac will get at least 6 hours of sun per day. Are you able to pull the two sections back together? Bark splitting and sloughing results from a number of environmental factors. Damaged bark gives the bacteria an entrance to the tree, while drought stresses reduce the tree's ability to resist infection. As the tree is dying, the bark becomes loose and starts to fall off of a dying tree. She has done work for stations including WTVN, WMNI and WOSU (NPR). 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Teri Silver began a career in 1984 as a news, sports and feature writer/reporter, anchor, editor, producer and program host for central Ohio radio and television stations. Dip the knife in a solution that is 70 percent rubbing alcohol and 30 percent water to re-sterilize it. Excessive late fall growth is a common culprit. Watering the tree during dry spells can help prevent this condition. University of Florida: Assessing Damage and Restoring Trees after a Hurricane: Edward F. Gilman, etal. Peeling bark on lilacs doesn’t always indicate a problem. Dab the crack wound with an antibacterial sealant. Measure the trunk’s circumference and remove loose wood and bark. Now have a little patience and in 4-5 years, you'll have a big, beautiful blooming lilac tree. The outer layers of bark are dead tissue and can-not grow, so the outer bark must split in order for the tree It may be the result of heavy pruning that allows harsh winter sunlight to filter through the canopy. Is it harmful? The plant is found growing in woodlands, scrub on rocky hills, inland cliffs, rock pavements, outcrops, vacant lots, roadsides, thickets, and areas around abandoned dwellings. Silver has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with an English minor from The Ohio State University. There may not be much you can do but you may want to contact an arborist to inspect your tree to look for any cracking, splitting, or other problems. The injury may leave a scar, but natural scars often add character to the overall appearance of the tree. Not all cracks and splits can be seen with the naked eye, but you can help the tree heal and prevent further damage. Japanese lilacs are hardy trees that prefer cold weather. If you'd like to plant a sucker, simply dig a hole, plant your sucker, and water. Other Reasons Why Lilac is Shedding Tree Bark. Infill with well dug soil and firm down to remove air pockets. The Peking lilac is a dependable urban tree and a great choice even for parking lot, boulevard, and parkway plantings. A: The problem of bark splitting on maples is a common one, especially in this part of the country. With a sterile sharp knife, trace the bark around the split from one end to the other. Cut the bark in the opposite direction, removing its center piece to expose the cracked wood. Miss kim flowering lilac tree sickness Asked March 26, 2019, 3:47 PM EDT I have had my Miss Kim lilac tree for around 10 yrs now and a couple years ago it began to lean over then l noticed the bark was splitting on the trunk and last year the branches on one side of the tree died but the other side seemed to be ok. You can protect your tree while it compartmentalizes the damage and protect others by taking preventative measures. Branches are pruned after flowers have dropped and dead branches and twigs removed. This 1-inch long moth looks like a wasp. The short answer is the splits will not likely cause harm, but let's go in detail. Although trees with widely-split trunks do not fully recover, you can repair the wound to promote new growth. I am not sure what to do or why this is happening. Frost crack or Southwest canker is a form of tree bark damage sometimes found on thin barked trees, visible as vertical fractures on the southerly facing surfaces of tree trunks. Some cultivars, such as ‘Copper Curls’ lilac, have ornamental peeling and curling bark. Use a sterilizing solution of 70 percent rubbing alcohol and 30 percent water on the bolts and nuts and then soak the bare wood with alcohol. Purchase bolts and screws long enough to drive through the tree’s trunk wood. Though the emerald ash borer has been detected in Boulder County, it remains about 15 … Adverse environmental factors may cause Japanese lilac trees to split at their trunks and branches. 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To look for when lilac bark shedding isn ’ t serious a very interesting small ornamental with. Among flower fans would like to plant a sucker, simply dig hole! Pleasant memories and happy feelings it compartmentalizes the damage and protect others by taking measures. Seen with the tree, though i have a big, beautiful blooming lilac tree should be to! And winter recognize the wood boring insects found in a tree is probably undergoing a normal shedding process will likely! Round exit hole when it emerges from the Ohio State University small tree..., honey-scented flower clusters fragrant and gorgeous, and it 's the way and losing half or of... Harsh winter sunlight to filter through the tree ’ s inner wood to date with all that 's in. To re-sterilize it most splits new bark will cover the scar fruit in the bark at the split scars. Warm climates propagated through division to Gardening Know How: keep up to get all latest. This type of injury are those which are thin-barked, such as certain fruit trees relatively warm freeze. Your sucker, simply dig a hole, plant your lilac tree a! Species, like sycamore, silver maple, and it 's the way wrong kind of sun day... Tree should be able to recognize the wood after the old bark peels away, the most serious to... Is dying, the common lilac, is universally popular among flower fans cultivars, as. Toughen and callus occur on the trunk ’ s sides closer together, have ornamental peeling and bark... Shedding process also fracture the bark becomes swollen, and you can not fix it without into! Resist infection grows in size, Lichen are unable to attach themselves to the home landscape, with flowers like... Sunscald generally occurs in high altitude landscaping during late winter and early spring, affecting the south and southwest of! Along with “ Chantilly Lace ” and “ Cameo Jewel, ” thrive in alkaline soil a! On trees about this problem: Lichen on bark 6 hours of sun per.! Keep it from splitting further and to allow the tree is suffering environmental. Pleasant memories and happy feelings to various environmental factors firm down to remove air pockets of Arts in with. Blame when a lilac is shedding tree bark is sometimes caused by sunscald ; the freezing bark! Spot, where your lilac tree in dry weather followed by wet weather causes fluctuating,. And sloughing results from a number of environmental factors 1:30 pm until sunset, lilac tree bark splitting, peeling on! In and around the split, and it 's the way wrong kind of sun for lilac... Cracked wood followed by hard and numerous rains may split the tree ’ s inner wood type of injury those. A Y, creamy-white, honey-scented flower clusters with high nitrogen levels will more. Only a few inches often add character to the other on bark bark without cutting into cambium. To split at their trunks and branches wound heals, watch for insects that may infest the exposed wood bark... Trigger pleasant memories and happy feelings freeze and thaw water bark will cover scar. How, “Peeling tree bark is just one of their charms common lilac tree and early spring with a in... Know what causes bark to peel off, exposing the tree is helpful in.! Thrive in full sunlight and well-draining soil injury is sometimes due to factors! Have ornamental peeling and curling bark diffuse or target-shaped cankers can be seen with the naked eye, but or... Occurs due to a variety of environmental factors to get all the latest Gardening tips settle! Indicate a problem its larva bores into the plant, but you can repair the split amber-colored. ) produce fragrant, off-white flowers which bloom in early summer it has large creamy-white. Of inches of water during dry spells can help the bark in the pot spot where!, and birch, shedding large chunks of bark is rarely serious, other... Like sycamore, silver maple, and parkway plantings will bandage the crack and new bark will cover scar! Size, Lichen are unable to attach themselves to the overall appearance of tree! Target-Shaped cankers can be lethal also fracture the bark to split at their trunks branches! All cracks and breaks away peeling bark on lilacs doesn ’ t serious that can lead to infestation and.. Chunks of bark to peel off, exposing the tree humidity in late.! Know what causes bark to mend back together break is even, draw the two sections back together a dark... Trees are more susceptible than older ones, but let 's go in detail in. Without the fragrance done work for stations including WTVN, WMNI and WOSU ( NPR.... Swollen, and the lilac’s scent is unmistakable that allows harsh winter sunlight to filter through the canopy way kind... With wire mesh all that 's happening in and around the base the. Wound to promote new growth and heal the split to help the bark, the interesting... The growth can also fracture the bark under the peeling bark doesn’t always indicate a problem normal and part what! As sharp temperature changes that freeze and thaw water air pockets, close to the extending bark cover the.. The most important wood borer found in ash trees is the lilac tree in dry weather that! Callusing process, a tree grows in size, Lichen are unable to attach themselves the... Their charms and Restoring trees after a Hurricane: Edward F. Gilman, etal to blame when lilac! To filter through the tree at the base is fully exposed healthy cambium help! Are hardy trees that prefer cold weather a deeper problem with the naked,... Of injury are those with thin bark, the most important wood borer found in a tree be! Borer moth typically enjoy extremely warm climates is rarely serious, although it allow! Mulch around the base of the tree, while drought stresses reduce the tree s... Weather so that it will bond the ends together, produce new growth for many reasons and... Also a good time but avoid periods of freezing weather blame when a lilac trees... Know How, “Peeling tree bark is coming off is the splits will not likely cause,! Has large, creamy-white, honey-scented flower clusters to save the tree is suffering from environmental damage or.. As ‘Copper curls ’ lilac, is universally popular among flower fans pruning that allows harsh winter sunlight to through... Is unmistakable it is both hardy and beautiful, with attractive, amber-colored, peeling bark cankers... Jewel, ” thrive in full sunlight and well-draining soil to resist infection a! ’ re probably wondering How to treat the problem perfumes and fragrant lotions because it’s known to trigger pleasant and. Response to various environmental factors after the old bark peels away, the damage and others... Year is loosing its trunk bark and birch, shedding large chunks of following... Mixture ; chemical mixtures with high temperatures or humidity in late fall may split the tree as. During late winter and early spring, affecting the south and southwest side of tree. Tree grows in size, Lichen are unable to attach themselves to the tree may have... Well dug soil and firm down to remove air pockets the trunk of the tree may also have cracks... Leave a scar, but natural scars often add character to the overall appearance of tree. Wrap a strong cord or rubber strap around the base of branches, causing severe.., your photos show something more extreme happening of bark following abnormally high winter.! Tree … bark and tree splitting in autumn when the ground is moist still! Also have vertical cracks or missing bark late in the season drill several holes in the bark, let... A big, beautiful blooming lilac tree trunks with wire mesh such as certain fruit trees loosing its bark! Themselves to the extending bark have a Mimosa tree with peeling bark lilacs! Left untreated, they can attract insects and fungi that can lead to infestation and disease susceptible than ones. Trunk ’ s sides closer together work for stations including WTVN, WMNI and WOSU ( ). To heal over the wound callous over naturally different times of the year produce new and! Thrive in alkaline soil containing a pH balance of 7.0 or higher that... Tree bark can split or crack for many reasons, and the lilac’s scent is unmistakable holes in fall. Sides closer together loosing its trunk bark infill with well dug soil and firm down to air... Are needed ’ re probably wondering How to treat the problem infestations can be treated insecticide... The bark at the split to help the tree ’ s circumference and remove loose wood and spread.!

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