Tree wounds are pretty common, contrary to common belief; that’s why there are already a wide variety of ways and techniques to fix them. There was even a time where the common way to address tree wounds was to use paint. The theory is that covering a tree’s wound with paint seals it close and helps prevent infection, assist in recovery, and improve the wound’s aesthetics. Although this method was already debunked several times, there are still some who believed in this wound recovery technique. Putting paint on your tree’s wound, in reality, stops the healing process and encourages more harm like the growth of insects and parasites.
In this blog, we’ll showcase and explain different and proper methods of addressing tree wounds:
Before we discuss damage control, we must first know how trees respond to damages or wounds in their bodies. As you may all know, trees are still living things, and any living thing has a process that helps and aids recovery. While humans have cell division and tissue repair, trees have compartmentalization.
Unlike animals and us, trees and other plants don’t have the ability to repair damaged cells or tissues; instead, they seal the wound and prevent any further damage or infection from entering their system. These are called “callus tissues,” which trees utilize to cover up any open wounds. After sealing the wound, new wood forms around the callus, and the protective layer prevents any harmful contaminants from spreading to the new tissues, Hence “compartmentalization.” The tree basically isolates the injured part from the new wood growing.
Another natural mechanism of trees to help contain their wound is barrier zones. The idea is after a tree closes or isolates the wound through compartmentalization, it also renders the surrounding cell unable to transmit microbes or contaminants. The tree achieves this by releasing chemical reactions into its cell, which creates boundaries on exposed tissues that react to any form of pollutants, thus confining the damage.
Some first aid you can give to your tree
Remove any broken branches that are still on the tree: If damaged branches are hanging from a tree, one of the first things you should do as first aid is to cut them off from the tree totally. Aside from being a safety hazard to you and your property, These branches are most likely dead and will start to decay soon. If not taken care of, the decay process will negatively affect the main tree and encourage contamination.
Repair a torn bark: This improves the tree’s overall look and removes any space that insects or pests can live on. Used a sharp knife or chisel and carefully scraped and smoothen the bard that’s been destroyed. If you somehow expose the cambium, which is the inner green tissue you see on wounded trees, stop immediately as this means you may have cut the tree too deep.
Wound dressings: Most professionals will agree that one of the techniques that people often use is wound dressing. They will also tell you that this can be used for aesthetics but doesn’t really help aid the wound.
If you really want to cover up your tree’s wound for looks, it’s better to use a dressing than to cover it up with paint. Some studies have proven that covering a tree wound in the paint may:
- Prevent drying of the wound and serves as a ground for fungal growth
- Interfere with the compartmentalization process of the ree
- It prevents callus tissues from growing
- And serves as food for germs and bacteria