Missing bark in dogwood tree

Asked May 26, 2020, 1:58 PM EDT

Good afternoon, I have a 35 year old dogwood that appears healthy to me. I don't know how long it's been this way, but recently I noticed a piece of bark missing at the base of the tree (picture attached). What causes this, and do I need to do anything to protect the tree? Thanks Rod

Montgomery County Maryland

2 Responses

We cannot say what caused this wound. It could have been an animal, string trimmer, or some other impact with an object. We see no decay, and it appears to have healed well. (The wound doesn't "heal" like human wounds, but the tree compartmentalizes it, or walls it off.) No treatment needed or beneficial.

However, we do not see any flare on this tree (where the trunk widens before entering the soil.) You should be able to see that. If the tree is planted too deeply, it can slowly kill the tree. Here's more about this: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/planted-too-deeply
We recommend pulling back that grass so that the flare is exposed.

Ellen


Ellen,

Thanks very much for the information on the wound and for teaching me about the problem of deep planting. I'll carefully remove some grass and soil.

My best,

Rod