Addressing Tree Wounds (Part 2)

If the tree is fast and effective with its boundary-setting mechanisms, the infection remains localized and does not spread. However, if the boundary-setting mechanisms are not effective, the infection will spread. Most vigorous or actively growing trees are fairly successful in coping with decay-spreading mechanisms.

Physically Repairing Trees
Tree wounds often appear ragged where the bark is torn during the injury. This is common during branch breakage and when the trunk of the tree has been scraped. To repair this type of damage, cut off any ragged bark edges with a sharp knife. Take care not to remove any healthy bark and expose more live tissue than necessary. If possible, the wound should be shaped like an elongated oval, with the long axis running vertically along the trunk or limb. All bark around the wound should be tight.

Dressing Tree Wounds
Research indicates that wound dressings (materials such as tar or paint) do not prevent decay and may even interfere with wound closure. Wound dressings can have the following detrimental effects:

  • Prevent drying and encourage fungal growth
  • Interfere with formation of wound wood or callus tissue
  • Inhibit compartmentalization
  • Possibly serve as a food source for pathogens

For these reasons, applying dressings is not recommended. Trees, like many living things, have their own mechanisms to deter the spread of decay organisms, insects and disease.

Fill Tree Cavities
Filling large holes in the tree is generally done for cosmetic reasons. There is little data to indicate that a filled tree has better mechanical stability. However, fillings may give the callus tissue a place to seat, thus stopping the in-roll of the callus. Almost any type of filling can be used as long as it does not scrape the inside of the tree.

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 Tri-Cities tree removal service provider.