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There are notches in the bark round the circumference at regular intervals up the trunk with sap oozing from the gash. There is no sign of beetles or grubs etc. this happened last spring as well. is there anything I can do?
Rita Can you post a picture for us please?
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Sap runs through silver birch at this the of year (spring) and we plug it and tap it for wine and brewing Its uses as Water.
If the bark is split all the way down then it is just proof that the warm winter and dry spring is under way.
Try and tape the bark back in, use insulation tape and wood glue! (PVA) and strap it tight.
We just had a hot summer last year and a wet winter. strap the bit up so it does not lose moisture. Take it of in the summer.
If you lose a whole ring of bark then the tree will die. So keep it rapped.