Impact of arctic air and frost cracks on area trees - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Impact of arctic air and 'frost cracks' on area trees

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Across the region, reports claim arctic air is causing damage to mature trees. You have may have read or heard about cracks splitting trunks, causing a hazard.

If there's damage to the trunk or limbs, arborists say it didn't happen overnight or this season.

"We haven't seen any damage from the cold weather yet this year," arborist Tee Ray said, with Bob Ray Company Inc.

While it's been a bitterly cold winter, so-called "frost cracks" and "radial shakes" will not kill trees.

"Frost cracks do not cause permanent damage to a tree, 95-percent of the time. All it'll do is cause a minor bump in the bark and it usually causes no damage to the tree. If there's a new crack in the tree, the sap wood will be white in color. An old crack is going to be grayish or dark," Ray said.

Splits darker in color have been there for awhile and may be hazardous. If that's prevalent in your yard or neighborhood, ice or spring storms could cause a deadly situation.

"If you have a hazardous tree or a tree that has a split in it, you need to call an arborist right away to come inspect it to let you know if that tree can be saved or needs to be removed," Ray said.

If you've noticed a crack or split in a tree and you think it could crush your home or someone, contact a certified arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture by clicking here.

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