Is this Red Maple OK?

Hi, this Red Maple is very important for shade on my deck so I would hate to lose it. Thus, the large crack/split line that runs down the base concerns me. Does it look OK?
is this red maple ok, gardening
is this red maple ok, gardening
  7 answers
  • Ellen H Ellen H on Aug 07, 2012
    Anyone who might know will probably need a little more info - when did the crack appear? Was it after a storm? Do you know the age of the tree? Are there any other signs of problems - dying branches, foliage problems, etc?

  • Steve Held Steve Held on Aug 07, 2012
    Thanks, Ellen. I don't know how old the tree is. Hopefully someone knowledgeable will be able to tell by the size. The tree was there when we bought the house in 2006. It looks very healthy in all regards. No dead branches and it leafs out very nicely each spring.

  • Becky H Becky H on Aug 07, 2012
    I can't say for sure this is what your tree has, but every tree I've ever seen hit by lightening has had similar cracks in the trunk. Just a possibility......

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Aug 07, 2012
    You know Becky I was going to say that looks exactly like the mark on the tree across the street after it was hit by Lightning...and it's some kind of Elm I think...Now I've seen 2 oaks hit by Lightning and neither one had a mark all the way to the ground.... I think it has to do with the Root Structure of the various trees.... But the one across the street seems to be living just fine...

  • Becky H Becky H on Aug 07, 2012
    Sharron, I've primarily seen oaks struck by lightening, and the cracks varied. Some of the oaks survive the strike, and others fail a few years later. I've no idea why the differences, but alway moan when I see they've been hit. Hate to see a tree go.

  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Aug 08, 2012
    I agree that it looks like lightning...but there aren't any tall trees, from which the lightning would jump, nearby in the pic. Could just be a twist failure if the tree is regularly struck by strong wind. A certified arborist could give better advice.

  • Sharron W Sharron W on Aug 08, 2012
    @Walter, When the tree in the yard behind us was hit, (3 times in 2 years) it wasn't even the tallest tree around...we had a spruce that was a good deal taller and only 60 ft away....we also had a Pecan that was just the other side of the fence....that was Really taller... But it took the top out of the neighbors oak and fried all the electronics in our work shed...The second time it was hit it took more of the top of the tree limbs But our electronics had all been unplugged...LOL It was pnly about six months later that it was hit again....I happened to see the 2nd and 3rd strikes and let me tell you that'll send you running under a bed somewhere... Shapranel went everywhere... Our Fig Tree was damaged in a tornado by that "twisting" you're talking about we had to cut one of them almost down...two years later it's still not the size that it was...but it's getting there....