tree - Knowledgebase Question

north port, Fl
Question by jialvk
October 10, 2009
I live in sarasota county fl. I have a mahogany tree that has been planted for a year. grew great was very green and lush during the summer. now within the last month it has lost all its leaves and now the base has split. any reason for this? we see no signs of disease or bugs. we paid alot of money for this tree and to have it die is really heart breaking. any help would be great. thanks kim

Answer from NGA
October 10, 2009


Bark splitting and sloughing results from a number of environmental factors. Not all ?cracks? are serious cracks that form in the wood. Some cracks are simply bark splits and are not likely to be fatal to trees, although they will, in some cases, allow entry of disease organisms which can lead to wood decay. Most of these bark splits are fairly superficial, forming mainly in the outer bark. In many cases, bark splits will often close or callus over completely leaving only a slight ridge in the trunk.

Causes of these splits include various environmental factors, such as rapid growth spurts, drought, fluctuating conditions of excessive and deficient, temperature extremes, southwest winter injury, late fall growth, and sun scald. Trees that are most susceptible to this type of injury are those with thin bark. Young trees also seem more prone to bark‑splitting than older, established trees.

Mahogany is considered semi-evergreen meaning it will retain some of its leaves, but not all, during the fall and winter months. If yours has dropped all of its leaves it may be because it is young or because it has gone through some drought stress over the summer months.

I'd just take a wait and see attitude. There's nothing you can do to repair the split - it will callous over on its own. Keep the tree well watered and hope for the best!

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