Splitting/Unwrapping tree trunk
I have a peach tree that is developing a hole in it. As the tree leans, the layers on the other side split (like cutting a roll of paper towels without unwrapping). How can I repair this? It is allowing bugs and weather to get deeper into the trunk of the tree and I am afraid of losing the tree. I am no great gardener or arborist, so I am at a complete loss. I asked a local nursery and was told there was a process of screwing it back together but to research it thoroughly.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You can screw a brace onto the trunk. The process is much like when someone shatters an arm or a leg and they use pins and a metal rod to heal the limb. You would just take a thick rod of metal and screw it to the failing area to reinforce it. Make sure you screw into the center of the tree, damaging the bark as little as possible. You want to make sure the brace reaches from above the hole to below the hole, by several inches. Also, soak the screws in rubbing alcohol prior to using them to make sure that they are clean and won't introduce disease.
All of this being said, just like with people and shattered bones, while this will help stabilize the tree, it will never recover completely from this damage. You can expect reduced vigor and production. Also, as it is a peach tree, the average production lifetime is typically 15 years. If this peach tree is on the older end of this number, it will likely not produce at all after this. So, you may need to make a hard decision about whether you want to keep the tree or replace it.