Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging! 

I just got my first blog registered.  Now I have to come up with some content that would interest readers.  I have not decided who I will tell about this yet.  It would be embarrassing if I had nothing to say after people started following it.  So, I think I will write a couple entries first and see how it goes.   

My first topic is about trees.  Specifically cracks in trees.  Specifically cracks in trunks of trees.  When is a crack in the trunk of a tree a problem?  What can be done about it?

When trees start growing as little tiny thin seedlings they do not have much of a bark on their trunks.  The “skin” on them is smooth and corky but very thin.  It serves to protect the water transferring cells inside and the tree’s version of stem cells.  The bark grows in a flat plane from underneath itself and gets thicker as the cells build up.  As the seedling grows, its stem gets bigger around and less flexible.  The bark of young trees usually remains smooth  until they are over an inch in diameter.  Then at that point, something has to give or the tree could not put on any more thickness.  Tiny stretchmarks begin to appear running vertically up and down the stretching trunk.  As the tree “calipers up” as nurserymen say, these stretchmarks split and build up repairs from beneath.  The result is a rough corrugated surface we call bark and some stretchy looking fibers in between plates of bark.  Rough plates of bark continue to grow and break apart like plate tectonics on the earth’s crust. 

The tree is in no danger from the plates growing apart and splitting as this is usually done on a very small scale and no open wounds occur on the trunk.  They way to tell if the splits you see are just growth stretches and not harmful cracks is the presence of liquid leaking out.  Normal growth cracks do not weep sap.  Cracks from  frost or wind damage will have broken the water and sap transporting vessels and just like a hole in the garden hose, liquid will leak out. 

There is not much you can do if the tree trunk has a true crack in it.  A normal, healthy tree will begin to grow corky edges all around the wound and slowly grow over it and close it up.  Do not wrap anything over the area.  It is not in need of a bandaide.  If anything, bandaging the sap against the trunk may start microbes growing in the wood and be worse.   Someday I will tell you little gardeners about the fermenting tree.  But today is just a first blog with no pictures. 

Tomorrow I will learn about tags and pictures.


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