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.
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.
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.
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
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.
On Tue, 12 Jun 2007 21:10:11 +0000 (UTC), FragileWarrior
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
S Jersey USA Zone 5 Shade
http://www.ocutech.com/ High tech Vison aid
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".
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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.
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