Dying Cherry Plum Tree
My dog scratched some of the bark off of three of my cherry plum trees. I bought some black paint looking stuff for trees at Home Depot. We covered the areas that didn't have anymore bark. It looks now that the trees are dying. There are fewer leaves and it isn't very lush. Most of the leaves have holes in them and they hang down. How can I save the trees?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Most people are unaware that by putting paint, tar or other permanent substance on damaged trees, it can actually do more harm than good by trapping disease against the wounds.
I think the best thing you can do for the trees now is to make sure that they are getting plenty of water and perhaps even some fertilizer. Do not cover up any more of the wounds as this can harm the trees. The wounds need to heal in open air, but don't panic about the ones already covered. They should be fine. Just as a precaution, keep an eye on the tree for any signs of pests or disease around the damaged areas and treat the wounds with a fungicide like neem oil.