Honey Locust Tree Leafed Out Late And Has Dark Patch With Splitting On Trunk

Q: I have several honey locust trees on the property and usually all leaf out at the same time at end of April. This year all did leaf out on schedule (typical view on Tree 3 picture) but one of the trees did not and I thought it had died, but it is now just starting to open the buds throughout the whole canopy (Tree 4 picture where buds have just staring to leaf out). There is a large section of truck bark on one side a few feet up from the ground that has a dark brown color compared to the rest of the trunk (Tree 1 picture). Any thoughts on what is going on?
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A: My guess is the splitting is the result of one of two things. Freezing temperatures followed by a sudden rise in temperatures (above freezing)can result in bark split. A canker caused by a fungal disease may also result in bark split. There is no "cure" but caring for the tree. Regular watering. A one time fertilization in spring with an organic fertilizer, such as EspomaTree Tone and wrapping the trunk with tree wrap in winter and removing in spring can be helpful. Do not seal the wound with tree paint or house paint, You may want to get an onsite inspection from a professional, a certified arborist. To find one in your area go to tcia.org and enter your zip code. Best Regards, Nancy and Thanks for visiting Yardener.com.