Autumn Blaze Maple cuts to bark
Looks like something or someone attacked my Autumn Blaze Maple in my yard. It was planted last Fall from Gertens but the Spring/Summer it appears to have numerous cuts on it. It still appears to be growing with plenty of leaves but the concern is the damage to the bark and survival rate. Will the tree heal itself? Is the best thing to do is leave it alone? Ive now have a wire ring around it to keep ?? away from the trunk. Normally in the Fall I put plastic white tree protection on the trunk...your thoughts on that? Thank you
Anoka County Minnesota
That definitely looks like damage from a weed whip. It is very high on the trunk for that but..... Either that or it is mechanical damage from a lawn tractor or something similar scraping it. There is nothing you can do. The tree either will seal off or it won't. Rather than putting the plastic on it this year with the possibility of it scraping the bark even more as you put it on, wrap the trunk with tree wrap and then use a cylinder of hardware cloth a ways away from the trunk to protect it from critters. Protect tree trunks with cylinders of ¼-inch mesh hardware cloth around the trunk of the tree about 6 inches away from the trunk. This can be kept on year-round.
- For mice, the cylinder should extend 2 to 3 inches below the ground line.
- For rabbits, the cylinder should extend 18 to 24 inches above the anticipated snow line.
- Make sure there are no gaps between the bottom of the mesh cylinder and the ground where animals could crawl under the fencing.
- For small trees, plastic tree guards are also effective.
- Protect shrubs from rabbits by fencing the beds with hardware cloth.
- Enclose the lower branches as well as the trunk.
- Check fenced areas frequently to make sure rabbits aren't trapped inside