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Problem with Old Rowan Tree splitting Bark

Hi, I have read several discussions on here about Rowan trees. The tree leaves look fine this year but over the last few years the bark on the tree has started splitting. The tree could be anything up to 80 years old and is a lovely feature in the garden. It has a dead branch to the back of the tree overhanging our neighbour which we cannot reach.  I wondered if the bark problem is likely to be something serious despite the leaves looking healthy?


  • Bit awkward in lockdown but maybe a tree surgeon's opinion might be sought.
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,459
    The part at the front looks ok, as far as I can work out.
    It is really massive for a rowan and you say it is  very old. This may be  a wild idea, but the front looks rather like two trunks, and rowans often self seed. Is it possible that 3 seedlings landed side by side and grew up together, and now the one at the back is dead/dying?
    As a for instance:I planted a birch tree at the far end of my veg garden and it is now growing in close company with a self-sown rowan, cotoneaster and an ash, though the ash has die back and will be coming out.
  • SueMarySueMary Posts: 8
    Thank you for your comment  We thought that might have to be the option. We will look to see what the procedure is at the moment.
  • SueMarySueMary Posts: 8
    Thank you for your comment Buttercupdays. We have thought it looks like two trees grown together but not about a third one at the back. When it is safe to do so we will consult a tree surgeon to see if some of it will be ok and if there is a major problem. The house is about 80 years old and the previous owner was here for 50 so we don’t know the exact age but it is big.
  • foxwalesfoxwales Posts: 69
    Lots of crossed branches, trunks, this will cause friction on the bark and in high wind will add stress which could be causing the bark to break open and crack. I'd agree and contact a tree surgeon to tidy it up.
  • MarineliliumMarinelilium Posts: 213
    This reminds me of the Love tree from Louis Bernieres' Captain Corelli's Mandolin:

    "You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that is what love is.......Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other, underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two."

    BTW Rowans were planted to ward off evil and protect the home in the past. Hope you can save this old timer.

  • WaysideWayside Posts: 845
    Issues aside, it's pretty glorious.  You could always plant another small tree, for eventual replacement, if it comes to that.  I've a rowan with some odd bark issues too, some strange branch forking, rubbing etc.  But mine is much much younger, and in an overpopulated area, so will likely go.  Good news is, that I have a baby to plant somewhere else.
  • SueMarySueMary Posts: 8
    Thank you for all your comments which have been very helpful. It was my first time posting a question so it has been interesting, informative and encouraging. We are going to consult a tree surgeon for their advice, hopefully some remedial work is possible so we don’t lose the tree. 
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