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Can someone explain what happened here? (redbud tree)

4 years ago

I have had a redbud growing for 3 years in our yard, doing very well. By all signs, a vibrant healthy tree. Young, but healthy.

This spring, I noticed toward the base of the trunk, the trunk was split open. And.... the tree is dead. It was healthy through the fall. But during the winter or spring, it dies and the trunk is split. It appears as if it froze from the inside and it popped open, but a winter-hardy tree like this should have no trouble where we live - red bud trees are everywhere in our neighborhood and city.

Attaching a pic for reference. Can someone explain or propose a hypothesis why this tree should have up and died, and what would cause a trunk to crack open like that?

(attaching pic from both sides of tree. Split seems to go right through the trunk.

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