Japanese Maple Will It Live After Bark Is Stripped Away? - Knowledgebase Question

Salem, OR
Question by julieta93
February 22, 2004
Our puppy stripped the first layer of the bark on the tree this last summer. I am trying to decide if it will be ok ayand leave it or if I should replace with another.
Thank you for your help.

Answer from NGA
February 22, 2004


The answer really depends upon whether or not the wood beneath the bark was damaged. My neighbor's cat used the trunk of my new little apple tree as a scratching post for a week or two before I discovered the damage. Since she only shredded the bark, the tree survived without any effort on my part - once I caged that part of the tree to keep her from continuing her claw sharpening habit.

If the wood beneath the bark is not damaged, your maple should recover. Cut away the shredded bark and the maple will callous over the damaged area in a season or two. If your puppy actually gnawed on the tree trunk, the vascular system may be damaged beyond repair. If this is the case, the tree will begin to show symptoms of distress including wilting foliage and failure to grow. If this happens, you may want to replace the tree with a new one.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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