Tree wounds are very common, especially considering that trees endure a lot of damage imparted by the outdoors. Here is everything you need to know about tree wounds, how they can affect trees in general, and should you hire tree services.
What Are Tree Wounds?
You may or may not know this, but trees have their protective barrier against harsh weather conditions and other living organisms like fungi and bacteria, and that is the bark. However, sometimes the bark can get injured or exposed to the environment and this can cause the tree to become weak and ultimately die as time goes on. So, a tree wound is defined as anything which harms the bark in any way and it leads to the decline of the health of the tree. These wounds are very common, especially with older trees or trees which are grown in harsh and unfavorable environments. Now the real question is: How do tree wounds form?
The answer to this is two-fold. The break in the branch or trunk can be small. It can be a small hole caused by pounding something sharp into the tree. Alternatively, the wound can be caused by something major, like a branch or part of the tree being dislodged from it, because of hurricanes, water, and winds.
Trees are living beings and they can also be injured when their protective mechanism is under threat. Tree wounds can also occur because of fungus or mold growth around the bark of the tree. These things are major issues and they can ultimately lead to the tree dying or getting extremely malnourished no amount of manure, water or pesticides can save the tree, if the core issue of the wound isn’t treated. Fungal infections in trees are nothing less than a nightmare and they can’t be treated as easily, so you always need to look out for them.
How To Spot A Wound In Trees?
Now that you know what tree wounds are and how they are caused, the next order of importance is how can you identify an injury in a tree. Here are some signs you need to look out for:
Observe the change in color around the bark. The injury is usually a lighter color, than the actual bark color, with a darker ring around the perimeter.
The injury or wound might be present on the bark in the form of a circle. Some circles are small, while some can be bigger in size. The bigger the injury is, the more severe its nature will be and you will need to do something about it, as soon as possible.
Tree wounds can also be present in the form of straight lines or slashes. Sometimes, there might be unsuccessful attempts to hack a tree down and if the bark is cut with an axe incompletely, then the slash can expose the bark and it can lead to major problems. Over time, these slashes can get deeper, bacteria and other microorganisms can take refuge in these cracks and the tree will ultimately get weak.
There might be broken parts around the tree like places where old branches used to be and those places can be a perfect place for a tree wound to deepen.
Small nail-like holes can also lead to the tree being wounded. These small holes are usually found near the base of the trunk, about 1 to 2 feet above the ground and this is mainly the work of woodpeckers. These small birds have a tendency to poke their beaks in the trunks and create small holes in the trunk, which if left untreated, can lead to deeper and more serious wounds in the tree bark.
How To Treat Tree Wounds?
Like any generic wound treatment, the best way to deal with an injury is to dress it and that’s exactly what you need to do with trees. You can get in touch with arborist services Kensington for tree inspection.
Here are some ways by which you can treat tree wounds and bring the tree back to life.
Paint The Bark
A lot of the time, all you need to do to prevent a tree wound from getting worse, is to seal it with some sort of liquid. The best way to prevent tree wounds from deepening is to apply paint all over the exposed area of the bark. This is going to help a lot in treating the wound and there won’t be more penetration.
Use Petroleum Solvents
The only way a tree wound can worsen is when callus forms. Callus is the lighter-colored gaping circle that forms on the tree after it’s been wounded. The best way to avoid this from happening is to use petroleum-based solvents, like tar or some kind of oil, and apply it to the wound.
This liquid solvent is going to act as a barrier between the wound and the outside environment and there won’t be any intrusion of unwanted organisms in the wound and the tree will heal itself over time.
Scribing is the process of peeling or cutting away the exposed and protruded part of the tree wound. You can easily do it with a knife, but you need to be careful when working around the wound.
Scribing is a trick that can go both ways. It does enlarge the size of the injury on the tree, but it also kick-starts the process of healing and after some time, the tree bark will look exceptionally better than it was before. Just make sure that after peeling away the wounded areas, you “dress” the wound with either paint or some sort of petroleum-based product, to protect the tree.
Preventing Tree Wounds In The Future
Here are some things you can do to prevent tree wounds from occurring in the future.
Keep the bark, at least the lower part of the trunk, concealed, especially if you’re planting young trees. Prevention during the first few years will do wonders for you in the future.
Whenever you use any shearing, pruning, or gardening instruments on the tree, make sure that they are clean. If you can, try to allocate separate instruments for trees and other plants so that there’s no chance of cross-contamination. This might seem far-fetched, but you will see that your trees will be much healthier if you take this extra step.
Always look out for wounds in the early stages. You want to treat the wound before it gets to a point where nothing can be done. Look for small holes, slashes, and gashes on the trunk and see if there is anything concerning.
If you are a beginner with trees and tree health, then it’s best to get some help from someone who knows the ins and outs of trees. You may want to consult a professional gardener or someone who is decently knowledgeable.
There you have it! Tree wounds can, ultimately, be responsible for the declining health and wearing of the trunk and it can lead to the tree looking weak and in a bad shape. So, it’s better to identify the wounds and do something about it. If the tree is dying, you should consult tree removal companies Chevy Chase for cutting down the tree.