Looking for help re damaged young fruit trees
My daughter has a number of fruit trees - sweet cherry, Japanese plum, Damson plum, peach, and pear, which she planted 3 years ago. A few days ago her children's pony got out of his paddock and before anyone noticed what had happened, he managed to inflict serious damage on most of her trees. Several of them are girdled and others have much bark removed over extensive areas. It is just heartbreaking to see them. He really made a mess of them. She had peaches on the peach trees last summer, and with lots of fruit buds on most of the trees now, she was looking forward to more fruit this year. There are mouse guards on the trees and all of the damage is above the mouse guards and above the original grafts. If anyone can offer suggestions on how best to deal with this, we would really appreciate it. We are in Nova Scotia, zone 5b. The trees are still dormant at this point. I'm wondering if it would be best to just cut them off below the damage, but above the graft, and hope that would stimulate new growth. I have a little bit of experience with grafting if that would be useful - just a few bark grafts that I did on apple trees, but they were successful. On the trees that are not completely girdled, is there something we should use to cover the areas where the bark has been chewed off?