How to remove burned bark?

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My landscaping was caught in the San Diego Firestorm. The house survived but the trunks of several Queen palms and Eucalyptus trees (all with a diameter from 15" to 24") were charred. They will probably survive but they look very unattractive with charred wood reaching up to 10 feet, especially right in front of the entrance area.
State Farm Insurance will not pay for them because they may survive. They consider any plant as surviving (and do not pay for) any plant that has even the tiniest green bud on it, even it it's on the bottom of the trunk.
Is there any way of scraping or pressure washing the black charcoal from the trunks? Any other remedy ? (short of painting them green :-)
--
Walter
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Walter R. wrote:

Hi, They may fall off in time. Any how, charcoal is air freshner and germ killer, and some fertilizer for the tree.
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You ARE kidding, right? You can't possibly be serious about caring what the trunk of a fukin tree looks like.
steve (living in the real world)

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By all standards known to me, a charred tree trunk is not generally considered a thing of beauty. Depends on how you live and how much you prefer green plants to charred plants. It so happens that I do care "what the trunk of a fuking tree looks like".
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Walter
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No, it's not a thing of beauty. And it's also not something you can do anything about without killing the tree. But, you'd probably rather do that than look at it. Another option: You could move into the real world, where it doesn't burn down each year.
s

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Don't think this has not occurred to me. 2000 houses burned in 2003, 2000 houses burned in 2007. This is ridiculous! I don't need this in my old age.
Arizona, here we come. But, we got to make this old house presentable, first.
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Walter
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HOw much for the house, considerin you have charred trees that is!!!
Sd
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If you are staying, I think letting the trees alone to heal themselves is the best option (consulting an arborist is even better) and I think wrapping the wounds with tree wrap, or burlap, would not interfere with the healing and would ease your aesthetic concerns.
On the other hand, if you want to sell soon, I think having healing trees on the property would just serve to remind prospective buyers that they are buying in a problem area, so in that case I would remove the trees and plant replacements.
Walter R. wrote:

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What a fukin idjot! I too would care what my landscape looks like, especially near the entrance! Your living in the real world. We sure miss NCa. now in PA
SD
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wrote Re Re: How to remove burned bark?:

Why not go back to Northern CA? The CA people would like that and the PA people would be thrilled.
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On Sun, 23 Dec 2007 19:30:06 -0600, "S. Barker"

Its like scar tissue. The tree will recover and the scab fall off on its own. Removing it will further stress the tree and kill it. Will the insurance company still deny compensation then?
My suggestion is to wrap the trunks in green (or trunk) colored burlap that will allow the trunk to breath and live.
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S. Barker wrote:

Hmmm, What if I am a part time lumber jack wielding a chain saw as big as you? Any how, your name fits. Barker, LOL! Nature has it's own way of healing. That tree will be a reminder for the power of nature. Really horticulture is my hobby. I have a 3 years formal training way back.
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Do you want the tree to survive? If not, peel the bark off. Otherwise leave it alone.
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wrote:

Not what you want the hear, but I'm afraid the Queen Palms might not make it. I give a slight + chance for the Eucalyptus..
Those were intense fires, remember?
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Thanks, Oren.
How long does it usually take until a tree succumbs to burn injuries? A year, two?
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wrote:

Trees are different. Ya been too the Redwoods, near your house?
A palm tree will boil inside. You will see the side affects. Given you have Queen Palms. The heart-of-palm dies, in months you see the tree collapse.
It seriously froze in Las Vegas two years ago (?). Given, a bad summer heat - my trees were stressed. Pending removal...

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The trees are scorched to 10 feet. That's a ground fire, and normal in many forests. Mature trees will survive a ground fire just fine; some even like it.
The OP could call in an arborist. The arborist can do two things: one is look at the trees and give a good estimate of whether they are likely to survive or not. The other is paint the trunks with anti-fungal tree wound paint, which comes in ... drum roll ... tree trunk colors. It will not look natural but it may help the trees recover and it would be less noticable than coal black.
The OP could also use a large steel wire brush to knock off some of the carbon. Not all the carbon, only what is loose, and taking care not to damage the remaining bark beneath the carbon.
    Una
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I don't know shit about Palm trees as I live in the Frozen North, but as the others have said I'd be more concerned about saving the trees than making them look pretty. This will likely save you $s in the long run assuming they are still viable.
Try reading this for a start: http://www.carsoncityinfo.com/Resources/documents/07-20-04TakingCareofYourLandscapeAfterTheFire.pdf
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wrote:

I eat *swamp cabbage* .. Hearts-of-Palm..
The law has protected the trees in Florida, In the 50's, it was nothing to cut a cabbage palm, harvest the heart and make good vittles.
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Different tree, Swamp cabbage comes from a sabal palm. That is a native Florida tree. Queen palms are weeds. (exotics) In fact, if you don't pick up the seed pods you will have a yard full of these things. I have a patch behind my house on the FPL right of way that is covered with queen sprouts. I can send the guy some seedlings if he wants a new one. The bark of the queen will recover somewhat over several years but trying to grind off the char will kill the tree.
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