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KellyCraig got it right. Yours is a natural expansion-contraction phenomenon. The cracks are there to stay and will increase in number and size. To slow that you can use a penetrating epoxy by W.E. Smith, which is designed for this very purpose. The product is clear, does not effect the wood’s size, and gets applied repeatedly until the wood quits taking it up (follow the detailed instructions).

As others have noted, yours is an assembly of parts with joints. Those joints are channels for water to work its way deep into gate’s interior, where it is slow to dry and sets up the conditions for decay. The best hope to extend the gate’s life is to apply a copper strip/cover along the top edge(s). The strip needs to be about 1-1/2” wider than the gate’s thickness on each side so that it can be formed as a cap (by peening or soldering) with 1-1/2” tall sides. The cap can be held in place with either face-nailed copper (or stainless) tacks or nails, but keep them well back from the top edge to avoid splitting the wood, or a spare use of polyurethane sealant along the top of the gate.

It is important to allow any water that gets in to be able to get out.
 

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Beware of caulks and sealants because they are high volume and become effective wedges when they are between 2 pieces of wood that try to swell. Sort of like closing the seat belt buckle in the car door: Something’s gotta give, and the results are not pretty. There are other good reasons to not use sealants in this application, but that will take a pretty technical discussion to explain, but suffice it to say that misapplication is too common and leads to failure and worse problems.

The copper cap is the traditional solution and is by far the best approach…for the top. The penetrating epoxy is almost as good, but is quite easy to do and ideal for the cut-out and the cracks and grooves, although it ain’t cheap, but neither is a new gate. The good thing is that the epoxy doesn’t need to be applied to the face material, but just the end grain and the cracks and joints. The epoxy came out of the boating and architectural restoration industries.
 
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