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Oh no -- girdled ginkgo!

Posted by davidcalgary29 2b AB (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 11, 12 at 23:23

I thought that my three year-old ginkgo was leafing out beautifully...until I noticed that the leaves were unusually small and some of the buds failed to leaf out at all. When I examined the tree for a cause, I noted that the trunk has been partially girdled about six inches off the ground. I suspect rabbits or voles; I have both in and around my yard. Does anyone know if ginkgos can recover from partly girdled trunks? The chewed area extends about 1/2 the way around the trunk.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Oh no -- girdled ginkgo!

Half way around on my fruit trees usually is not a problem, if it was under the snow cover I would suspect vole damage.

RE: Oh no -- girdled ginkgo!

Agreed, girdling half-way around shouldn't be a big issue. I tried ginko in my yard and after its first winter it leafed out intitially, then the leaves shrivelled and died. I attributed it to not much snow cover and the roots freezing and dieing so that the plant was able to leaf out from stored stem reserves, then had nothing from the roots to keep going. Could root damage/freezing be an issue?

RE: Oh no -- girdled ginkgo!

I wouldn't think that root damage would have been an issue last winter, as temps were relatively mild and I covered up the base of the tree with a straw and styrofoam mulch (and giving lots of coverage to critters -- sigh). The tree did much better with the harsher winter (and no protection) in 2010-2011. Still, you never know...

RE: Oh no -- girdled ginkgo!

I also have a tree in my front yard that has lost its bark however it is still growing very slowly mind you. Not sure how it happened but it is almost 3/4 around. Can the bark grow back or should I start looking for a new tree. I can't even remember what kind of crab it is purple leaves with pink flowers. The strange thing is the bark was still there but just loose. I peeled off the loose stuff and it has a nicely healed edge I wonder if it was damaged when I bought it but never noticed.

RE: Oh no -- girdled ginkgo!

Don, now that I think about it, you may be right after all.
I mulched the base of the tree with straw before placing a styrofoam cover the straw...which may have prevented snow from forming an insulating layer on the ground. Ironically, in my misguided aim to protect the tree, I may have killed it. Darn.

I'm going to leave it alone (something I should have done in the first place!) to see if it'll recover.

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