Q. Could you please give me some clue as to why my 10 year old African Sumac tree has started to get split limbs. They are splitting laterally along the length of the branch. I have had to cut off two branches in the last week because of this splitting.
A. This is the first I have heard of this problem with African sumac. Who is making the decision to remove the limbs and what is the reasoning behind it? I would be curious because there are unscrupulous maintenance people who will point out something to a homeowner and recommend a job to make money. Also, there are uneducated maintenance people who will point out something to a homeowner and recommend a job to make money.
Sometimes natural furrowing of the bark can be mistaken for cracking. I have had several homeowners get concerned and send pictures and that is all it is. I have had African sumacs split due to snow loads on the branches but that is reasonable.
Most reasons for cracking would be excessive weight on the limbs. Are you sure there are no children doing pull-ups on some limbs?
This is a stretch but if the tree were growing very rapidly and pruned incorrectly I could possibly see that limb cracking might occur. Without a bit more information that is about all I can tell you with the information you gave me.
Has anyone else seen this? I would love to get some pictures so I can see the problem.