Addressing Tree Wounds (Part 1)

Tree wounds can be common and the causes of these wounds include: broken branches; deep impacts, and scrapes; animal damage; insect attack; fire; etc. Wounds usually break the bark and damage the food and water conducting tissues. Wounds also expose the inside of the tree to a wide range of problems, primarily bacteria and fungi that may infect and cause discoloration and decay of the wood. Decay can result in weakened tree stems and can decrease the life of a tree. Decay cannot be cured. However, proper tree care can limit the progress of decay in an injured tree. This fact sheet discusses responses to wounds and what can be done after an injury occurs.

Compartmentalization of Tree Wounds
When a tree is wounded, the injured area is not repaired and does not heal. Trees will not heal; they only seal. If you look at an old wound, you will notice that it does not “heal” from the inside out, but eventually the tree covers the opening by forming specialized “callus” tissue around the edges of the wound. After wounding, new wood growing around the wound forms a protective boundary preventing the infection or decay from spreading into the new tissue. Thus, the tree responds to the injury by “compartmentalizing” the older, injured tissue with the gradual growth of new, healthy tissue.

Creating Barrier Zones Around Trees
Not only do trees try to close damage from the outside, they also make the existing wood surrounding the wound unsuitable for spread of decay organisms. Although these processes are not well understood, the tree tries to avoid further injury by setting chemical and physical barriers.

Keep In Mind
If you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree removal needs in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree removal service provider.