What is this tree and is the bark okay?

Two part question…

1. What is it?
We have this tree in our yard that puts on a gorgeous display for a few days each year. It doesn’t produce fruit. Most people assume it’s a cherry tree, but someone suggested it could be a flowering plum. Anyone know how to tell the difference?

2. Is the bark okay?
The trunk of the tree has some big vertical cracks in the bark as well as lots of little horizontal blisters. Wondering if this is all normal or a sign of stress / disease / pests? The first flush of leaves get decimated each spring but then eventually recover, so I’m wondering about some kind of burrowing pest.

p.s. I found these photos I took one year that I forgot about. I think I may have extracted the pupa from the bark, in mid-December. The leaves are eaten mostly by green caterpillars but I’ve also seen black ones.

Interested in your bark question (sorry I don’t know what kind of tree that is :frowning:) I have an ornamental cherry tree (I know it is one) that has the same vertical cracking on it. I

Now I’m wondering if it is a problem.

From Linda Gilkeson:

That is a cherry tree and the horizontal blister-like marks are normal. The vertical cracks are common too and if it is just a superficial split it isn’t a problem, but if the cracks start to ooze thick golden, sticky sap, that is bacterial canker, which can get into the tree through cracks and also causes lesions on the bark. It is very common on cherry and peaches here.

The green caterpillar looks like a winter moth caterpillar—also extremely common. See attached for info on life cycle and on dealing with it. The pupa you dug out of the bark crevice could be winter moth as well, though they usually make it to the ground to pupate in leaf litter. Or it could be a different moth species altogether that found a convenient crevice to spend the winter.

So it looks like the cracks in the bark are fine and the best way to deal with the grubs is a sticky tree band left on the tree from mid-October to early March. :slight_smile:

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