Can bark grow back when tree is girdled

CLBlakeyJune 15, 2012

Some how the tree in my front yard has lost its bark almost 3/4 the way around it is still alive and finally has flowers but does anyone know if the bark will grow back? Or should I look for a new tree

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Looks like it was probably rodent damage in a prior winter. It is trying to recover, you can see the edge of the wound is regenerating scar tissue to try to seal the damage.

It may be able to compartmentalize the damage and come back, but may always have a weak trunk. It appears to be an apple tree, based on what s growing from the base. You should probably plan on providing support to the trunk long-term, or at least until the wound completely seals over from both sides, which would take several growing seasons.

I see a couple of possible choices. The obvious choice is to cut it off just below the damage and hope there is enough live tissue above the graft union to regenerate. I see two different colors of shoots, green and a smaller, red-leaved shoot. It appears to me that the red leaved shoot is from the scion.

Another possibility may be to allow all of those suckers to grow, and try to use some of them first thing next spring, assuming the tree lives, as attached bridge grafts above the point of damage. Bridge grafting isn't particularly difficult, and as long as you align the cut surfaces well, the odds of the graft(s) taking would be very good under this scenario, since it is essentially the same as two touching branches eventually knitting together.

Obviously, any supportive care you can give -- keeping it well watered, giving it a little fertilizer -- will increase its odds of survival.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 8:45PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Agree, ...I would let it be, the damage was done two winters ago and grew fine last year with some added growth, [bark] on the sides, eventually it will grow together several years down the road.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:36AM
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Thanks I will try and keep it. I wasn't sure if bark grew back when there was that much damage. Last year it showed no signs of having problems that I could see then this year the bark fell off it was still all there but very loose. I will look up more info on bridging and see if I dare attempt it.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 8:16AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It will not help much in bridge grafting at this point, why do it when the tree grows fine, will only add a ugly double stem [bulge].

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Well this poor little tree tried to make it but I really don't want to wait 10 years to have it recover. My friend who has acreage is going to adopt him.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 5:31PM
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Here is our new tree he is much happier and no girdles for him.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 5:34PM
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