I noticed a large defect in the bark of this Loblolly pine in my yard this week. It is as if the bark split upward for 40 feet or so. There isn't any sap exuding but ants are in this area. There is no burn to suggest lightning.
What could have caused it? The tree is probably 75-100 years old and I would hate to lose it. Is there hope?
Maybe a lightning strike. Our old house had a maple in the front yard that was struck by lightning and it peeled the bark on one side and blew the irises nearby out of the ground - blew out a TV, a VCR, the cable modem, and partially got a big TV (yet the cable company said it did not run in on their line). We had the tree taken down a few years later - the bark had healed over but the tree just became much too large for the small front yard.
If the pine does die, it gives you new opportunities for planting something new. We had a huge pine taken down a few years ago and we planted the area with a Kwanzan cherry, hostas, hydrangeas, and lilies. Eventually the cherry will shade some of the smaller plants out so we will have to move them but that is a few years down the road.
Reading the links from another post on this forum from the University of GA, lightning- damaged pines are attractive to pine boring beetles and can attract an infestation. That may tip the scales to take it down before it gets sick.