wired embedded in mature ponderosa

Asked April 16, 2018, 1:25 PM EDT


We just purchased land in Jeffco with ponderosa and douglas fir. We have 6 mature ponderosa pines that were used as "fence posts" when they were young. Now the trees are approximately 20' to 40' tall and 12" to 20" in diameter. The wire had been wrapped around the young trunks and is now thoroughly embedded. We managed to cut away the noose and pull out sections of wire that were lightly embedded but now are left with wire that is about 1"-2" under the bark and to remove we would have to dig into the bark a couple inches to pry it out. All the trees have apparent injury to the trunks directly above the wire. There are visible gaps in the tree trunks where it attempted to grow around the wire but they still have fairly nice growth at the tops, although not nearly as nice as the surrounding trees that had no wire. We are left wondering what to do with the wire that is still embedded. Should we try to dig it out? We successfully did that for part of one of the trees but we wondered if breaking into the bark a couple inches deep and wide was worse than just leaving the wire there.

Jefferson County Colorado

2 Responses

Your poor pondo's - they are lucky to have you as their owners now! This is a classic example of what one of our colleagues calls 'tree bondage' http://csuhort.blogspot.com/2016/01/hort-peeve-tree-torture-with-staking.html.

You have done the right thing to cut away all exposed wire. At this point, it is best to leave the deeply embedded wire in place, even though it will continue to restrict the flow of water and nutrients in the tree: removing it will open the tree to insects and disease.

Best regards,