tree paint vs tree wraps and borers
I started a small orchard in 2012. We have apple, pear, peach, nectarine, and plum trees.We live about 30 miles from Columbia, SC, in zone 8. Our summers are long, hot and very humid. We have had a very erratic winter this year: hot - cold -hot -cold. I would say the rainfall has been about average. I have read that it is a good idea to paint your trees with white latex or wrap them to prevent sunscald, in winter and sunburn in summer. About 2 weeks ago I noticed that the bark on one of the pears had split open/had a gash in the bark on the morning sun-facing side of the tree. The split is about 3-4 feet above the ground, about 4 inches long, and pretty deep (1/4 in deep). The orchard is completely enclosed by 8 foot fencing and no heavy equipment caused this. I am baffled as to the cause. The tree is now leafing out and seems otherwise fine at this stage but I am sure I need to seal this wound before the bugs and heat/humidity start. Someone suggested plumber's putty. Thoughts on this idea? Also, if trees can breathe through their bark, wouldn't painting them clog the pores? Would wrapping encourage mold or mildew by keeping wet wrapping right up on the bark? Almost all the stone fruit trees got borers last year. I have tried to kill them with moth cakes hanging inside a plastic tent put around each affected tree. I don't know yet if it worked, but putting some kind a wrap around the tree would hopefully keep the borers out in 2014. But I don't want to cause more damage. Any thoughts from wise experienced growers will be GREATLY appreciated!