Q:

How do you fix a tree with bark missing?

A:

Quick Answer

While there are several approaches to repairing missing bark from a tree, New Mexico State University recommends using bark grafting. Since this process uses thumb-sized branches from the tree, it works even when the original bark is missing. It is especially useful in repairing damage from vehicles or rabbits.

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How do you fix a tree with bark missing?
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Full Answer

With bark grafting, remove any loose bark and sharp edges around the injury, careful to avoid further damage to the tree. Cut the graft branches a few inches longer than the injury. Flatten one edge to lie against the tree trunk, and cut the other to form a wedge. Cut parallel flaps in the bark that are slightly longer than the bridge graft, and leave them attached to the tree. Lift the flap and insert the wedge-shaped edge under the attached bark. A successful graft restores the nutrient flow to the roots and increases the tree's chances of survival.

Removing a ring of bark from around the tree is a process known as girdling and normally kills the tree by cutting off the root's food supply. When forming a bridge graft, the bark should be oriented in the same direction as its natural growth as phloem tissue only transports nutrients in one direction.

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