[NAFEX] bark damage

MARIE ASHTON bwoodtx at verizon.net
Mon Dec 5 14:24:36 EST 2005

Chris, is right in my experince, the tree has to do the healing, although you should remove any loose twigs and hanging bark. I have the same problem with my apricot and peach trees but the best is to prevent it. I do not know what everybody uses but I use tree guards from Farm Wholesale they are white plastic with a ribbed back also they are quite inexpensive at 59-69 cents each. Contact: bruce at farmwholesale.com  if you are interested. They work and they make your orchard look good too.
Richard Ashton
7b/8a Central Texas
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: mauch1 at aol.com 
  To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org 
  Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005 12:23 PM
  Subject: [NAFEX] bark damage

<<I have bark damage on some young trees (apple and landscaping) done presumably by a buck rubbing his antlers.  None of the trees were completely girdled, but some lost lots of bark.  Should I be applying any specific tree dressings etc. to protect and save these trees (which were doing well otherwise).>> Preventing damage in the future:When I was having this problem, I found two things that I 'think' worked.  Staking the trees and tying them to the stake, and using plastic spiral tree wraps.  Both seemed to break up the smoothline of bare trunk that the bucks seemed to like (and perhaps the tree wraps made a noise surprising to them.)  Now I can't vouch that these suggestions really work w/out a controlled test, but it seemed to work for me.  The tree wraps should also prevent/limit further damage from rabbits and voles. 
  Helping the damaged area:
Generally you don't want to do anything.  From what I've read and learned over the years, tree dressings are generally detrimental.  One you said none of the trees were completely girdled - are you sure you have a contiguous line of bark from the soil to above the damaged area?  Those that were damaged with a break in the contiguous line will be the ones that will need your most attention and are most likely to be lost.  If the damage is recent, you can try wrapping the trunk temporarily with saran wrap.  This may save some cambium that is on the trunk, allowing it to regenerate.  But I wouldn't leave it on for more that a few weeks as I would be concerned about mold developing under the wrap.You may want to fertilize them come spring and watch for drought conditions.  I would expect some reduction of growth for several years and it will take quite a while for thedamaged area to heal over. Chris Mauchline
  SE PA, zone 6
  40° 5' N 75° 51'W
  ~650 ft elevation


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