Missing bark in dogwood tree
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
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.