Mountain Ash Has Vertical Splitting Of Bark And Few Leaves And Blooms That Quickly Turned Brown

Question From: N. Buckley - Bothell, Washington, United States
Q: Mountain Ash has had vertical splitting of bark since last Fall and now the leaves are very few and the blooms were very small clusters and quickly turned brown. Tree is 32 years old. Birds love this tree as have had many chickadee and nuthatch families from hanging birdhouses. What to do?

A: It doesn't sound good Norm. Mountain Ash has an average lifespan of 30 years. Frost cracking caused the bark splitting and there is nothing to be done there. Lack of leaves mean the tree is unable to feed itself. Fertlizing it may do more harm then good. You can get an onsite inspection from a certified arborist. To find one in your area go to www.tcia,org and enter your zip code in the search box. Best Nancy