Wind-Damaged Tree

xica_da_silvaJune 5, 2012

Hi all,

Remember when we had that windy cold front a couple of weeks ago? Well, unfortunately, my young Hong Kong Orchid tree got a little damaged. In retrospect, I should never have left it tied to the stabilizer stick so tightly, but live and learn! The squared-edge of the stick cut into the tender bark of the tree- it looks pretty rough up close (I'll share a link below to my blog where you can see the pix)!

And yet, if you look at the tree from a distance, although it's a bit lopsided, it looks pretty darn healthy and happy! Don't really see any signs of major stress on the leaves, either. Go figure.

So, my question is: should I just leave the tree alone, put something on the damaged bark to help it heal, or do something else? Maybe the stress isn't showing because the heat isn't that bad yet? I just don't know. Any advice?

Here's a link to some pix:

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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

I'm thinking you got lucky, lol. You're correct, if you stake a tree, do it from two sides and allow it some play - that allows the trunk to gain some strength as it moves in the wind.

I wouldn't put anything on the wound. They used to have people spray a tar-like substance on wounds - pruning sealer, I think it was called - until they (whoever "they" are) figured out that it can trap bacteria into a wound instead of allowing sun, etc. to fight the bacteria. If I were you, I'd consider making a splint - just like your current stick but not in the ground .... but maybe not immediately, give the tree some time to heal so it doesn't just snap when the stick is pulled from the ground.

Hope this is helpful!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 8:46PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Bummer! Sorry to hear about the damage, but at least it didn't just totally SNAP off, right? It's hard to find the right balance between giving a tree support and giving it some freedom. You and Pagan are right of course, trees need to be able to move at least a bit. I like using tree anchors in general (stakes in the ground with ropes up to the tree) but even then the trees need wiggle room, hah!

I think Pagan's idea of a split sounds good. That's what I'd do too just to help that damaged area be protected for awhile. It's a cute little tree, so hopefully you can help it on the road to recovery.

Let us know what you do and how it works out. Thanks for sharing about it--garden updates are fun, whether full of good news or bad.

Take care and good luck!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 5:21PM
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Thanks for the advice, guys!
Gardening is full of surprises, isn't it? Sometimes for all our pampering and fuss, things die rather stubbornly.
But on the other hand, there are other plants that we either neglect or abuse(albeit unintentionally), and somehow they pull through as if nothing can prevent them from living. I hope that my little champ continues to fall into the latter category! It's def one of my faves! :)

Thanks again...xica

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 12:33AM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Best of luck, keep us updated!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 10:26PM
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