Answer: If only the bark is gone but the inner tissues are undamaged, and if the tree is otherwise healthy, it is possible for the bark to eventually grow together and seal the damage. The danger is that the bare area is more susceptible to insects and diseases. I wouldn't recommend painting the area with the tarlike wound sealer available in nurseries because it actually inhibits natural healing of the wound but you might want to use one of the pliable plastic tree guards that are designed to protect small trees from sunscald. These tree guards have lots of holes to promote good air circulation yet they can protect the trunk from environmental damage. Tree guards are generally sold in rolls. You simply unroll it around the trunk and then secure it with a tie or two. Hope your tree makes it!
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