[nafex] vole damage and hindsight

victoria l. caron vicaron at gis.net
Mon May 7 10:36:56 EDT 2001

I think I goofed! The corner most tree in a small yard planting was the
only one that was girdled this Spring. The damage was not very deep
however and I could see quite a good layer of green tissue beneath it.
The damage was about 5 inches long and included a 3yr old grafting union
scar which I was having a hard time bridging over. Anyway, I did manage
to get on one bridge. Then I remembered something on the group a while
back about covering bark damage when it isn't too bad. I did not give
this enough thought and went ahead and used my latex caulking (which I
tip off my open ended scions with). I spread it all over the girdled
tissues and beyond including all open parts of the bridge, just like
frosting a cake. I was picturing it sealing the damage and preventing it
from drying out. So far so good, I was very pleased with my ingenuity.
Yesterday, while doing my rounds, I looked at this little tree (a Davey)
and noticed how nicely the top was leafing out. I had pruned it back to
two limbs to avoid overtaxing it. Then I examined the seal and saw it
had thinned out to a translucent film. Everything looked good.
Everything, that is, except for the future. Maybe the bridge will work
and maybe the cambium is intact and protected, but now what? How will
anything but the bridge grow? Even if the layer of cambium is saved, how
can it grow bark with a coat of waterproof sealer.
Does anyone know if this stuff ever deteriorates? Can I expect the
caulking to sooner or later break down and for healthy bark to
eventually creep in?
I guess I should have covered it with something less permanent. I think
I will have to go back and make some longer bridges after all.
.............vic NH zone 3


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