Advice on Bark Damage

karenlynnMay 23, 2009

We planted this tree, an October Glory Maple, almost 5 years ago when our house was built. I know nothing about trees but a year or two ago I noticed the bark looked bad. It looks to me this year to be worse. I want some shade in my yard as soon as I can, so if this tree is not going to make it I want to plant something else. Thanks for any advice, Karen

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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Nice mushrooms going on there. Personally, I suggest starting over, and reading some instructions on proper planting and follow them closely. The variety is fine.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 9:58PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

That's a very extensive, *old* wound. It happened a long time ago.

It appears to be worse because the tree is trying to cover over the wound by growing new tissue from each side of the wound. As that occurs, the previously dead bark is lifted off. So it only appears worse.

That said, the wound is *very* extensive. So you might consider starting over shortly instead of expending more worry on a tree which will die, break or topple before its time.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:03PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

After I looked closer, I also see that the tree is planted too deep.

The telltale sign is that it enters the ground like a telephone pole. Normal is a slight outward flare at the base of the trunk.

Deep planting is another reason trees fail before their time.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:07PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Deep planting is another reason trees fail before their time.

And improper staking causing trunk damage.

Read planting instructions carefully, please, when you plant the replacement.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:15PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Oops. Hit wrong button.

The too-deep planting stressed the tree and didn't allow it to properly heal the staking injuries.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:16PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I suspect a bit of weed-eater damage, too.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 5:11PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Yup. Or mower. Either one is likely here. Lots of stressors for the poor thing.

Dan

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 7:00PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

not to mention a absolutely weed free lawn ..... which to me means chemicals for weeds .... which PERHAPS is interfering somehow with recovery ....

IF IT WERE ME ... don loves these.. lol ...

get another tree.. in the 4 foot range ... IMHO.. something better than a maple.. think oak .... and plant it 10 or 15 feet away ...

in 5 years.. either the maple will recover ... or it will be ready for you to kill ..

and the new oak will have a 5 year head start..

no one ever said you can only have one tree ... lol ..

no clue where you are.. but proper planting time is about october for larger ball and burlap ... but smaller trees transplant easier.. cost less .. get ESTABLISHED faster.. and basically outgrow a larger tree in a 5 year period ... KEY WORD.. cost less ...

tell us where you are for more specific info

good luck

ken

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 7:44PM
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karenlynn

Thanks for the advice. We never staked the tree. I'm in Western Kentucky. The major ice storm we had probably didn't help.

Karen

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 11:50PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I saw little glimmers of hope in some of the posts above for the poor subject of this post. IMO, That tree is beyond reasonable expectations of long-term recovery. It looks like parts of the crown is already failing, and it appears that the damage reaches all the way to ground level. If it were mine, it would be gone by this evening shortly after I got home.

I know it "hurts" to cut down a tree that's growing. I still have that feeling when I have to remove one, but, after it's gone, I realize that I did the right thing. It's senseless to spend the time and resources on a doomed tree when you could be growing a beautiful, healthy replacement.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 8:41AM
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