Hi, can you tell me what happened to my trees? I went around the yard...

Asked March 23, 2015, 9:33 PM EDT

Hi, can you tell me what happened to my trees? I went around the yard checking all of the trees in preparation for spring and I found that BOTH of our paw paw trees had this bursted band of bark a couple of inches up from the ground. They don't APPEAR to be dead (yet) because I see some buds of leaves forming on some branches. Thank you very much!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

This appears to be an old injury caused either mechanically or by wildlife. Rabbits and/or voles will feed on the bark of young trees and shrubs during winter months. This causes a girdling of the bark and can result in the death of the tree. There seems to be some healing taking place as evidenced by the callus tissue forming along the margin. Placing hardware cloth around the trunk will protect from future wildlife injury.

ro