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Split trunks and broken branches may result when limbs bear excessive weight.  This can occur when insufficient thinning results in a heavy crop, from ice build-up on limbs, or large animals causing breakage. Trunk and branch splitting and breaking are often aggravated by heavy winds.

Split trunk due to a heavy fruit crop.
Split trunk due to a heavy fruit crop.

(Photo: John Strang, University of Kentucky)

    

Split trunk after repair using bolts and wound dressing.
Split trunk after repair using bolts and wound
dressing.

(Photo: John Strang, University of Kentucky)

     

Management:

  • Prune annually.
  • Broken limbs should be removed using good pruning techniques.
  • Thin fruit to avoid an excessively heavy crop.
  • In some cases, the trunk or a split branch may be bolted back together soon after damage occurs and the split sealed with a tree wound dressing; prune heavily to reduce top weight and trunk stress.

     

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