7-Year-Old Smoke Tree
About two years ago, my dog chewed through the bark, halfway up the tree. I put a splint and duct tape on it, mostly to keep it alive and from falling over. Now the duct tape is coming off and I do not know just what to do to preserve this little tree. Hate to lose it! It stands about 5 feet tall and does throw out mahogany blooms in the early summer. Also, I would like to make it more of a shrub instead of a tree.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
After two years, the bark should have healed itself. As long as the bark is not girdled (removed all the way around the tree), the tree should be ok without the duct tape. If it is still leaning, you may want to put in a stake on the far side and use some rope to gently pull it back straight.
You can start pruning it more severely to make it more shrub shaped than tree shaped.