Abutilon Plants

Repairing Tree Bark

Anonymous added on May 28, 2011 | Answered

In last winter's snow, many of our fruit trees and an abutilon had bark nibbled off by hungry animals. In most cases this barking girdled the trees. Usually there was protection around the trees up to a height of about 15 inches: the barking was above this height and continued upwards for up to a foot, much more in the case of the abutilon. The abutilon looks sick but not dead. It has produced some new leaves. The fruit trees are astonishing, a mass of blossoms and looking very healthy. Are they really dying? If not, is there something I should do (eg. paint their barkless bits with Arbrex or such)?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on May 28, 2011

There is a chance that the animals did not chew all the way through the cambium. If the cambium is intact, the trees have a chance and judging from you description, I would say at least with the fruit trees this may be the case. i would cover the wounds with a paper wrap protection (sold at nurseries) or something else temporary. Do not cover it with a permanent tar or other permanent substance as this can trap disease against the wound and hurt the tree.

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