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Locked: Gardeners around? How to protect tree with missing bark

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  • Apr 18th, 2005 8:32 pm
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Deal Fanatic
May 23, 2003
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Gardeners around? How to protect tree with missing bark

I have some trees on my property ( I don't know the type off hand) but they have bark missing on them near the bottom (looks like an animal ate them). I wanted to know if there was something I could put on them to protect the trees so they don't die? I was thinking of maybe that black tar stuff (well, it looks like tar to me anyway). Any ideas? I will try to take a picture of it over the next day or two.
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Deal Fanatic
May 23, 2003
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haha.. Interesting suggestion.

I know for next year I need some plastic protection or even burlap around it.. What can I do to ensure the tree lives though?

Any other ideas?
Deal Expert
Oct 20, 2001
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From what I've been told, there's not really anything you can do to save it. If the bark is completely gone all the way around, the tree will not survive for long. It is still using the food stored in the roots and may live a couple of years, but the tree cannot replenish the food in the roots without the bark.

We have the same problem with a few trees planted last spring...a rabbit that lives underneath the next-door-neighbour's porch ate the bark - even the one that had a plastic guard was damaged. :mad: That was an expensive lesson to learn the hard way. :(
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May 19, 2003
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Saran wrap baby...keeps food fresh, why not trees? :cheesygri

(I'm joking...please don't seriously go try that)
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Aug 20, 2003
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Might wanna try wire mesh around the base to prevent further "erosion" of the bark.. but otherwise there's not much you can do about the bark that is already missing. I've seen trees keep going as long as they have some bark connecting the upper and lower parts of the trunk. From what I remember in biology trees use the bark to transfer nutrients and water between the leaves and the roots. There is a tree at a nearby park whose bark was partially gnawed away by beavers. They didn't complete their job and half the bark remained but the tree managed to survive. Hope that helps, having to cut down and replace dead trees is a PITA!!
Member
Nov 25, 2004
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Sounds like some rabbits ate the bark during the winter. To protect & prevent further damage from rabbits you can wrap the area with a couple of layers of burlap.

gaf
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May 19, 2003
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hot_potato wrote:From what I remember in biology trees use the bark to transfer nutrients and water between the leaves and the roots. There is a tree at a nearby park whose bark was partially gnawed away by beavers. They didn't complete their job and half the bark remained but the tree managed to survive. Hope that helps, having to cut down and replace dead trees is a PITA!!
Actually the xylem and the phloem are what transfers water and food (respectively) between the roots, with water going up and food going down. The bark is more of a protective layer that protects the woody part of the tree, and does not play that active a role in nutrient transport.

Here's some info =)
Sr. Member
Mar 21, 2004
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Waterloo
felixdd wrote:Actually the xylem and the phloem are what transfers water and food (respectively) between the roots, with water going up and food going down. The bark is more of a protective layer that protects the woody part of the tree, and does not play that active a role in nutrient transport.
You are correct in stating that it is the pithy (got to love that word) layer beneath the bark that transports nutrients and water. Unfortunately, this is exactly the layer that rabbits, mice, beavers, etc. are after. The bark is just something that gets in their way.

As other posters have said, once a tree is girdled it will eventually die. In the case of small trees, this usually happens in the spring when growth restarts.
Member
Feb 20, 2003
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Gatineau
Those are field mice that do this in the winter. If you really think the tree is doom to a low death because there is no more transfer of from roots.... put some more soil around the part that has been eaten till you reach the bark once again....always keep it most ( saran wrap ) or a pot...and new roots will grow.

This is a technique commonly used in bonsai.... it's call air layering.
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Aug 20, 2003
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felixdd wrote:Actually the xylem and the phloem are what transfers water and food (respectively) between the roots, with water going up and food going down. The bark is more of a protective layer that protects the woody part of the tree, and does not play that active a role in nutrient transport.

Here's some info =)
I stand corrected! It's been awhile since I last sat in bio class.. :cheesygri
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Jan 27, 2004
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without trees we'd be dead =(
so be nice to them :D
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Sep 13, 2003
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Didn't read other replies, but maybe wrap chicken wire aroudn the base of it? Or wrap a cotton type bag around it, and than chicken wire, so the animal can't eat it.
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