[NAFEX] Bark Damage

Jwlehman at aol.com Jwlehman at aol.com
Tue Dec 6 08:21:11 EST 2005

In a message dated 12/5/2005 5:42:33 PM US Eastern Standard Time, 
topgun at otelco.net writes:

> One would not readily come to the conclusion that bark wounding would slow
> down substantially the next season's growth. 
> Topgun

Hello Heron,

I can't agree with your statement. And my disagreement may be a difference of 
definition and degree of damaged bark. Deer regularly girdle my persimmon 
trees as much as 50% around and 12 inches in duration. Although I haven't kept 
notes on the trees to compare them with similar aged undamaged trees say 5 years 
later, just drive by observation of them tells me it stunts them greatly. 
They definitely fall behind in growth compared to other trees of the same age and 
same area. Then shoots from below the damaged area grow out. The damaged 
central leader usually never fully recovers and often dies out and one has open 
wounds from removing the lesser limbs from below. It simply isn't a pretty site 
and if I never saw another deer it would be OK. I'd like to see them in zoos 

To me it only makes sense that if 50% of the tree is debarked you have 
reduced the capacity to carry nutrients to the upper portion of the tree by 50%. 
Even if the phloem is undamaged to carry sugars back to the roots, the upper 
portion of the tree is denied nutrients because the xylem is injured, hence 
reducing the upper portion it's ability to generate sugars to in turn feed the root 
system. This reduction I'd think will also slow down root development because 
of starvation and possibly temporarily reduce the root system size.  

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