I have a Honeycrisp apple tree which is missing the bark around the base of the tree. The diameter of the trunk is approximately 6-8 inch diameter and it is from the ground up about 18 inches. I just noticed this because the snow melted. It had been buried in snow 3- 4 feet deep. Is there anything I can do to save the tree? What do you think ate the bark? Pam Vannelli
Ramsey County Minnesota
Your tree has been damaged too severely to survive. I would guess that rabbits could be to blame but it could be voles too. If you decide to replace it you should protect it with tree wrap or hardware cloth.
Should all trees be wrapped? Just apple trees? All fruit trees? Every year?
I have a cherry tree nearby they didn't touch.
All young trees with tender bark should be wrapped in the fall and unwrapped in the late spring. You might enjoy looking at the info about growing fruit trees in this link. https://extension.umn.edu/find-plants/fruit
How long is a tree considered to be young? How many years are you to wrap it? I had protection on it for several years but had to remove it because the trunk grew to large.
When the tree develops normal textured bark they are not as prone to animal damage. If you covered the tree for several years and never removed the protection the sunlight and air are not able to toughen up the bark and it remains more tender. So unless you use wire mesh that air and sunlight can penetrate the protective material should be removed in late spring early summer and then put back in the fall.
Thank you for your help and information.