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Check trees for wires & ropes

While out for a walk this year, I came across a tree suffering from neglect. Unfortunately, it wasn't unusual to see this issue repeated in many landscapes over the years.

girdled-trunk.jpg

How did this happen?

Chances are the nurseryman or landscaper who planted this tree was not the same one maintaining the landscape. Therefore, these guy wires were allowed to stay in place far too long, eventually girdling the trunk.

GOOD NEWS: This tree was able to compartmentalize the girdled area by growing around the hose and guy wire supports.

BAD NEWS: This created long term weakened areas in the trunk which could more easily snap-off in future ice and wind storms.

girdled-tree-trunk.jpg

At this point in time, it is best to leave the enclosed portions of wire and hose alone, only removing the portions clearly extending beyond the bark.

So today's advice is very simple: Check tree supports often to see if they need to be loosened before the tree trunk expands. Bottom line, check these types of support several times during the growing season (spring & summer) to ensure they are not beginning to girdle the trunk.

Most stakes and tree supports should be completely removed after one growing season, two growing seasons at the most. Support systems should always allow for some movement of the tree, so it can establish better roots to finally support itself.

Bob



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