The Q&A Archives: Oak Tree Splitting Bark

Question: My neighbor owns a very large oak tree that is planted about 30 feet from my house. I noticed this past winter that the bark has split about 7 feet (from the base of the trunk upwards) on one large limb facing my house. I am worried. Is this a sign that the limb could break off? My house would be severly damaged if this were to happen. Is it normal for the bark to split like this? (I'd like to take a closer look, but we're not on good terms.)

Answer: Any large irregularity in the bark of a tree may be cause for concern. I would strongly suggest you consult with a professionally trained arborist about the change you have noticed and the health of the limb and tree. You might also investigate the local legalities of tree damage to a neighboring property; in many areas the responsibility lies with the owner of the property where the tree is rooted.

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