During periods of extreme weather when temperatures drop quickly, trunks and stems of trees can develop frost cracks. The outer wood and bark of the tree cool rapidly, which causes the shrinking and cracking. This can also happen when the moisture inside a tree freezes and expands, splitting the bark.

This is very common in some species of trees, including green ash trees, which are plentiful on the boulevards of Camrose.

Once a tree has been injured in this way, the crack will re-open each winter in the same location on the tree. Over subsequent years the tree will develop callus tissue along the vertical frost cracks. Generally, frost cracks do not affect the stability of a tree and the cracks will close back up as the temperature climbs.

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