Split trunks on pear trees


5 year old buck +
image.jpg image.jpg I took a closer look at the pear trees I planted last year. It wasn't good, 5 of the 8 have split trunks. Is there anything I can do to help these. It looks like you could just peel the bark off. I am not sure how anything survives our winters. These trees were under snow for 3 months. I have browse damage 9 feet up in the old apples and my new trees cracked below the snow. I don't think I will be planting anymore fruit trees for a couple years to see if it is possible to get them through these winters. Has any one ever tried wrapping the whole tree through winter in something like burlap. image.jpg
What variety(s) of pear? Was the damage mainly on the S and/or SW side of the trees? Looks like frost cracks/sun scauld/winter scauld possibly.
Not sure which variety cracked. I did not check they tags. They were all varieties cummins recommended for my area. The damage is mostly on the South side. Would the freezing and thawing of the snow around them cause it?
Thanks for the link. Looks like I need to add another layer of protection on these trees. Should I try using a pruning spray sealant on them or will air do them good.
Did you fertilize last year? Below is a direct quote from St. Lawrence Nurseries planting guide. They are located in Potsdam, NY.

"Most fruit trees “set” their terminal buds by mid-July, and from then on the tree begins to prepare for the following winter. Fertilization or foliar feeding after this time may delay the initial "hardening off" that is so critical to the plant's survival over the coming winter, leaving it vulnerable to winter injury. For this reason, fertilize or foliar feed only before July 1, or, in very cold areas, June 15."
Nope. No fertilizer. The branches look in good shape and the buds are starting to swell. All the damage is on the trunks 18" and up.
Nope. No fertilizer. The branches look in good shape and the buds are starting to swell. All the damage is on the trunks 18" and up.

hmmm, I'll leave it to the experts
one more quote from SLN in case this indeed turns out to be sunscald


During the late winter months (especially March) the warm sun will often cause sap to rise daily in the overwintering fruit tree. As temperatures cool toward nightfall, the sap returns to the roots. Sometimes, however, a particularly rapid drop in temperature will “catch” the sap in the trunk, freezing it and splitting the bark. This injury is known as “sunscald”, or “southwest injury”, and is often noticed only months later. To discourage the sap from rising, paint the trunk of the tree, from the base up to the first branches, with whitewash or white interior latex paint (see photo below). The goal is to lighten the bark color so that it will reflect late-winter sunlight and stay relatively cool. Do not use oil-base paints; they do not allow the bark to breathe. The paint job need not be neat and tidy; simply slop it on and it will usually last 1-2 years. Good coverage at the ground level will also discourage tree borers, or at least make their egg slits easier to spot.
Sometimes honeydew from aphids or sap from an injury will drip on the trunk and turn black. This black spot can absorb heat, contributing to sunscald in late winter. Use a small brush with soap and water to wash such deposits off the trunk.
I thought it was window screen but I guess I didn't know there was a difference. The cracks go below the screen and it was 36" screen.
Dang.....I cant imagine having those kind of conditions to deal with! I get mabe an inch or two every other year.
My hats off to you guys for the extra effort that you deal with!
My trees get their stress during Jully and August
The verdict is in on these trees. Everything above the cracks is dead. They tried to push out leaves but they never grew much and are now dying. Out of 8 pear trees only 2 are looking good. I did take the window screen off the others and they are starting a lot of new growth near the bottom of the tree. I assume I might as well cut the top 2/3 of dead tree off? What should I do with this new growth? Should I just let it go, basically the tree is starting over.
Is the new growth above or below the graft? If it is above the graft then cut back to above the healthiest loking new growth and train it like you would a young tree. If it is below the graft then you can let it grow with the intentions of top working (grafting) the main trunk or limbs in the coming years.
They are above the graft and they stop where the cracks start.