Does tree bark grow back? When your prized specimen loses part of its armor, whether from accidental damage or a bout with Mother Nature, it’s a valid question to ponder.
As Navarre’s tree service, our team at Backridge Tree Service has a deep understanding of arboreal behavior. Keep reading as we share the most crucial details on tree bark regeneration.
Why Is Bark So Important?
The bark is a hardworking layer that plays several pivotal roles in the life and health of a tree:
- Protection: Bark shields the inner layers of the tree from harsh weather and diseases. Some contain chemical compounds that deter insects and fungi.
- Transportation: The inner bark, or phloem, is the tree’s highway system, shuttling nutrients and water between the roots and the leaves.
- Storage: Certain varieties stash nutrients and sugars in their bark, a handy pantry for lean times.
Can Tree Bark Repair Itself?
Does tree bark grow back? Unlike human skin, which regenerates over time, trees are a bit more complex. They address wounds through compartmentalization.
The process isolates the damage by creating chemical and physical barriers, developing what looks like a callous. This is why areas where bark breaks off remain obvious, even years later.
Helping the Natural Repair of Tree Bark
Bark renewal in trees will usually proceed at its own leisurely pace, but a little extra care never hurts. Here’s what you can do.
Make a Clean Cut
Most bark damage often results in jagged edges, which can actually impede the healing process. Grab a sharp knife (or a chisel and hammer) and make a smooth outline around the wound. The goal is to get the bark flush against the exposed wood.
Create a Bridge Graft for Severe Cases
A ring of missing bark, or girdling, is a death sentence for most trees. It interrupts the vital nutrient highway we mentioned earlier.
Bridge grafting is a last-ditch effort to save the tree by manually creating a new path for nutrients. You can attempt this by conjoining the damaged ends with twigs from another tree, but it’s a complex procedure best left to experts.
Prevent Additional Stress
Compartmentalization requires a fair amount of the tree’s resources. An overtaxed plant might struggle to wall off the damaged area effectively.
Give your specimen a fighting chance by keeping it hydrated, especially during periods of dry weather.
You might also want to consider adding some high-quality mulch at the base. This layer doesn’t just keep the soil moist; it also reduces competition for nutrients by suppressing weed growth.
Consult a Local Arborist
Does tree bark grow back? Bark growth on trees rarely needs human intervention unless the damage is severe.
If the size of the wound exceeds 25% of the specimen’s diameter, let our crew at Backridge Tree Service assess the situation. We can help with healing damaged tree bark through targeted pruning, fertilization, and other treatments.