Tree bark problems (deer, sun, ???)

Virtually all of my trees have bark problems (maple, oak, catalpa, ash, locust). I planted them about four years ago. The bark is peeling back, exposing the wood. This occurs only on sun-facing surfaces (southeast to southwest) so I presume it's sun damage. A local nursery told me to wrap them with plasitic spiral wrappers, but these seem to foster insects and spider nests. They can also can bind and "girdle" the tree. I suppose I could remove them and re-wrap them every month or so...Are there better ways to deal with this? All of the crowns look really good, but I'm worried about the trunks. The wrappers also help inhibit deer gnawing. I think maybe the problem began when the trunks were weakened by the deer chewing and rendered more vulnerable to the solar radiation. Any ideas on this multi- faceted problem would be very much appreciate.
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Interesting. I've never observed a local white-tailed deer eating at the bark of a tree. Even in the last summer of a 3 year drought when there was virtually nothing for them to eat.
If true, there's alot more going on than just the trees in stress. The local deer have problem as well. Dave
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Young deer eat tree bark. You could provide some shelter from the sun. Depends on extent of missing bark. Can you see the cambium, the live cells beneath the bark?
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Planted four years ago they were probably young saplings... my guess is that you planted them too deep (even experienced arborists tend to commit this mortal sin) and probably mulched right up to the bark too. I suggest scraping a few inches of soil away from the trunks for about a four foot circumference... pin down a circle of weed block cloth and mulch over with large pine bark chips being careful to let no cloth or chips touch the tree, and check often that the chips don't migrate as birds and other small animals tend to move the chips. If any solid matter touches the base of a young tree trunk the bark will become girdled... so also regularly hand pull any weeds that sprout near the trunks and keep that area clean, even of small pebbles. If you have a deer problem then you need to fence the trees until they grow enough that mature (furrowed) bark begins to form... deer will definitely eat the tender bark of young trees. As to wrapping, do this only during winter and only if you live where the ground freezes, wrapping is mostly to protect young trees from wind burn, but done incorrectly does more harm then good... use only paper wrap, never plastic.... plastic traps moisture so that during freezing weather the trunk will split. If your trees are still leafing then with TLC they will heal. Next time you plant a tree create a large diameter soil mound (at least an 8' diameter and 1' high at the center, tapering off) and plant well above the original depth mark... planting higher is always better than lower... it's easy to add a bit of top dressing soil but drainage difficulties can arise from removing excess soil.
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I spray paint the trunks of my trees with white latex (the fruit trees anyway). this reflects the sun in winter. I also use metal window mesh, aluminum, put it around the tree and bring the sides together and use a hand stapler to staple the mesh like it was two pieces of paper. mesh lets air get to the bark. when I spray with oil or pesticide, it gets thru the mesh nicely. if the tree outgrows the mesh it easily forces the staples open which have rusted at that point anyway. Ingrid

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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote in

Why do you want to reflect the sun in winter?
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up here in the frozen tundra the sun makes one side of a dark barked tree very hot and the other side in the shade can be below zero and the difference will make the bark split. different expansion rates. Ingrid
On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 21:10:11 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior

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snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.com wrote:

We used to wrap our young tree's with a white plastic wrap 1/8 inch thick. Made of stiff plastic and it had one inch holes about. Designed to keep off rodents and heat stress. I do not know if it is still available. Was sort of like PVC pipe 2 inch diameter. Curved so you could snap it on or off.
Local folks raising trees professionally paint with white latex about here.
Bill
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S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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dr-s wrote:

Hmm, which fruit trees (or any trees for that matter) grow on the tundra?
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/tundra.php
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There is no data or research pubs to establish a benefit of painting a tree.
--
Many tree problems are associated with the following:

Troubles in the Rhizosphere
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The history of painting tree trunks white. Back in the day, women were in charge of all chores in the house. The outside work was the mans. There was two rules. One is if it moved it got greased. The gate, the door and so on. The second rule was if it did not move it got painted white. E.g., the rocks, the fence and yes, the trees.
There is little value to painting tree trunks white. In fact, trees have a green cortex which traps sunlight energy to manufacture food for the tree and some associates. Reflecting sunlight would disrupt that wonderful feature. For more on the topic look up "cortex" here. www.treedictionary.com many myths are associated with so called "sun scold" and "frost cracks".
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
wrote:

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