The Q&A Archives: Bark rubbed off a young tree by deer.

Question: Hello! You have helped me several times in the past and I need your help again! The deer rubbed the bark from a young Maple (October Red I believe) several months ago. I lost a tree a couple of years ago due to the same thing. I was wondering if I could wrap the trunk or spray something on before the weather gets any warmer to help it survive. The one I lost started to leaf out, but then died. This tree has buds and looks fine, but I'm afraid the same thing will happen. I believe the loss had something to do with sun scalf? Not sure it that's the right term. I would appreciate your help. Thanks, Jeanne

Answer: The answer to your question really depends upon how large the damaged area is, and how deep it is. If only the bark is scraped off a small area, it should heal on its own without any intervention. If the bark and the dark layer beneath the bark (cambium) is removed from a large area, you might want to shield the wound from the sunshine until it begins to heal. I would not suggest using any of the commercially available tree wound products. They look like tar and are painted on. These products can actually retard the healing process and quite often will hold excess moisture against the trunk which can cause rot. To protect the damaged area, you can safely use a paper tree wrap. This product is available in rolls and looks a little like brown crepe paper. It expands as the bark expands and will eventually weather away if you forget to remove it at the end of a year.

Hope this information is helpful!

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