The Q&A Archives: Old Maple Damaged

Question: I have just purchased an older home and have a large tree in yard that has a large area with bark missing on one side about the size of a small car door. What can I do to help the tree heal itself if anything.

Answer: I really respect your wishes to help heal the tree, I would feel exactly the same way if I were you. I always feel I should be honorable to something that has been there way longer than I have. Unfortunately, there may not be much you can do when a tree has sustained this kind of damage. This wound is a major entry point for fungus, disease, pests, etc. Usually when this happens the tree dies, it may take a while, but it dies none the less. This type of damage can cause the tree to be vulnerable to the above problems I listed above which make the tree weak, thus, something you don't want near your home, auto, etc. If a tree is in a weakened state, it can't tolerate the conditions it used to (like a big wind storm). I would suggest you either contact your County Extension Agent (you didn't list your county so I can't give you the phone number, check the blue pages of the phone book) or, contact a licensed arborist (tree guy/gal) in your area to come take a look at the tree and let you know if it's a goner and, if it is, how to go about putting it to rest.

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