A Bit About Tree Wounds

Wounds on trees are nothing new. Humankind has noticed them for over 4,000 years. During this time, hundreds of different types of materials have been applied to tree wounds to protect the exposed wood and promote rapid wound closure. Tree wound treatment is more of an art form than a science.

How do trees get wounds?

Mechanical injuries to trees result from many causes. Most occur as acts of nature such as breakage from snow, wind, ice, feeding by animals or even careless acts of people. Yes, people cause many wounds to trees, and they are usually unintentional. They cause these tree wounds with automobiles, construction equipment, lawn mowers which bump the tree unnecessarily or even improper pruning.  Sometimes, intentional tree wounds are caused to help the tree such as when adding chemicals or pruning leaves properly. These wounds still need to heal.

How can you classify tree wounds?

There are three different types of tree wounds. They are branch wounds, trunk wounds and root damage. Branch wounds are usually caused when a tree loses a branch. The wounds from these branch stubs usually heal. When they heal too slowly or not at all, the tree could find itself in serious trouble by developing decay. Poorly healed tree branch wounds are a major entry point for microorganisms that can cause decay.

There are many different types of tree trunk wounds. Most of them heal on their own. The good news about trees is that they can usually seal off or compartmentalize a tree wound on its own. Of course, when a tree is wounded, the injury can become a pathway for disease, insects and even decay. This situation may be repeated many times during the life of the tree which is why proper tree care can really help save your trees.

Surface roots are vital to a tree’s health and longevity. They absorb moisture necessary for growth. The roots also provide support but are often damaged during the construction of buildings, patios, roadways and paving. Care should be taken under a tree canopy to prevent root injury. The addition of extra soil during construction – especially if it’s piled on top of the tree’s surface roots – is a major cause of tree injury. Injured roots weaken the foundation of the tree and, with time and the advancing decay process, could cause a tree to be blown over in a storm or face some other potential hazard.

Austin Tree Service, Inc. can help you when you have tree wounds. We can identify the wounds and enact the proper course of action to keep your tree protected. We love to work with trees and improve their health. For more information on getting help for a wounded tree, please contact us at 512-341-8888. We look forward to working with you.