Springtime Bark-Splitting of Acer pseudoplatanus in Germany

Schulze, Schweingruber, Gossner, Günther, Weber, Stumpf, Komor
2019 Forests  
A large-scale regional event of springtime bark-splitting in Acer pseudoplatanus was observed in Germany in May 2018, where bark dissected from the wood. In young trees, an average of about 30% of the circumference was affected by cracks that were up to 8 m long. The damage occurred on the south-facing side of the trees after a warm period in March, followed by an extreme cold spell and warm temperatures. In this study, we investigated the possible causes of this damage. The damage occurred in
more » ... damage occurred in the expanding xylem with cambial cells remaining in the bark. These cells-initiated growths of new, bark-based stems. The unprotected xylem was attacked by several fungi and wood-boring bark beetles. The mode of damage-recovery suggested that this event will eventually lead to a frost-scar-like structure in the future that will not totally heal, because the new stems attached to the old bark were in the process of forming new bark. Due to the increase in variation of springtime temperatures observed over the past 40 years, such damage may become more common in the future.
doi:10.3390/f10121106 fatcat:br2p47udkbfe7oeo52ed2lsbhi