The Q&A Archives: Harm To Tree

Question: Will having something tied around the bark of a tree for lengths at a time be harmful to the life of a tree or it's bark? Let's say I tied a big bow, the width of it one foot, completely around a tree (common new england tree) and left on 7-8 continuous months, what are the cons?

Answer: Possible negative effects would include constricting growth and limiting water uptake during the course of the season if it is tied tightly (unlikely on a mature tree, possible on a young sapling) and if it is plastic and holds moisture behind it, harboring insects or disease which might affect the bark. It might also cause the bark on a young tree to fail to mature normally, making it susceptible to sunscald once the ribbon is removed. I think if you used an air-permeable material, checked it periodically (mark your calendar so you don't forget) and loosened, adjusted, or removed it periodically, there should be no problem, especially on an older tree.

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