Damage to bark of a Pin Oak
There is a Pin Oak in the small playground in our community that has been damaged by some children. The tree is approximately 17 years old and healthy except for this damage. The circumference is 501/2 inches; the damage includes 22 x 20 inches of outer and some inner bark torn off. It seems to have happened within the last two weeks. What should we do about this damage?
Harford County Maryland
At this point, no pruning paint, sealer, or foam is recommended as it can interfere with the healing process. Trees protect themselves from decay organisms through a process called compartmentalization and forming callus tissue is part of that defense mechanism. If the cambium layer of the tree is not affected then the tree may be okay. Keep the tree watered during dry periods and make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk.
You should contact the county Dept of Parks & Recreation or who ever owns the playground to check out the tree for an onsite diagnosis. They may need to contact a certified arborist