Some tips for repairing tree trunk damage include cleaning the damaged area, reattaching bark and trimming jagged edges of the wound. A tree owner can usually repair tree trunk damage if it covers less than 50 percent of the tree's circumference but should call a tree professional if the damage is more extensive.
For minor damage, owners can simply wash their trees with plain soap and water. This helps prevent pests and germs from further damaging the tree, while letting the tree heal on its own. If the damage occurred recently and there are salvageable pieces of bark, the owner can reattach the bark to the tree with durable tape. Owners must also ensure that the bark pieces are in the correct vertical position because certain vascular tissues in trees only transport nutrients upward.
For larger wounds, owners can trim back rough edges of bark. Owners should use a sharp knife to create an oval shape as close as possible to wounds, with the longest ends pointing up and down. Experts recommend letting trees heal themselves and not applying dressings, sealers or fillers. Dressings and sealers can prevent trees from creating new bark growth and might attract pests and pathogens. Fillers do not stop decay and are costly, and the filling process can damage trees.