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Tree Splits, What to do?

Tree rodding is an effective, cost efficient and timely fix for a splitting tree. The process of installing tree rods MUST be done properly to promote natural healing and secure the tree. Too often, we have seen this process completed improperly, causing additional damage and leading to tree failure. The picture above shows the finished look of an Autumn Blaze Maple with a good sized split. We installed (3) rods in the tree and over time, they will be completely incased within the trunk.

When installing tree rods, we must first determine how many rods are necessary and at what locations. Holes are then drilled through the designated areas for the installation of the hardware. The hardware consists of the appropriate diameter steel rod capped off with washers and finishing nuts. Once the rod is installed, a washer is installed, counter sunk into the trunk tissue of the tree and capped off with a nut.
Remarkably, over just a few years, the tree will produce new trunk tissue that will grow over the washer and nut; providing a solid bond and hiding the hardware from sight. If done correctly, the likelihood of tree failure and further splitting is decreased significantly.

Trees with splits can become a common occurrence in many different tree species. Often, splitting in trees can be avoided by planting structurally stable trees such as Oaks or Kentucky Coffee trees and avoiding trees that are prone to splitting and breaking, such as Ornamental Pear trees. With that said, even “good” trees can develop issues with splitting due to acts of nature or co-dominant stems(this occurs when two main stems are growing next to each other with no attachment). In many cases, proper pruning of a young tree will eliminate this issue. This crucial step in young trees is often missed. As a result, after years of growth, a tree will begin to develop a “V” in the trunk and will eventually separate, causing failure in the future. In some cases, removal or large scale pruning is the only fix, however, if possible, installing tree rods is an excellent remedy to keep a tree stable for years to come.