My Apple Tree is Girdled - Help!
I have a very healthy multi - grafted apple tree that is three years old. Being a young tree, the trunk diameter is maybe a little under 2" wide.
It is a semi dwarf (The root stock is M106) and was purchased with 5 different varieties grafted onto it (Cortland, McIntosh, Liberty, Winesap and Summerred). Last year, I successfully grafted Honeycrisp and RI Greening on the tree making it a 7-in-1 tree. The tree has grown nicely and I have been looking forward to this coming Years crop.
A few days ago, I discovered deer tracks in my yard. My area has plenty of deer (Western NY) but this is quite unusual where I live because my part of the neighborhood is house locked and seeing them close to my house is rare.
Today, I found what the deer was looking for. The trunk of my apple tree is girdled about 8" up from the base (the base was protected by snow). The girdle damage is about 8" high and almost wraps entirely around the tree. There is a slim amount of connected bark that is about 1/4 of an inch wide at its thinnest point. The damaged area does not appear to be very deep into the tree wood - probably because the tree is so young and the bark is thin. The damaged area is bright white.
I spoke to a local Amish farmer that told me to paint the damaged area with a light colored latex paint (light tan)to keep the damaged area from drying out any more (which I have done). According to him, he said it doesn't take much connective cambium to keep the tree alive. He seemed to be optimistic but I am skeptical. I really hope this tree makes it! Is there anything more I can do?
Thanks in advanced!