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How to heal a tree with bark damage

The bark of a tree is responsible for protecting the delicate nutrition system inside the tree. The smaller the tree, the more likely it is to suffer irreparable damage due to nutritional loss. Animals that find tree bark to be a tasty treat, can cause great harm due to their gnawing and bark stripping. Leaving a tree with the difficult task of healing itself in order to survive. You can attempt to expedite the healing process, and help to save the tree from irreversible damage, if you work quickly. By gathering the bark, and reattaching it to the tree, you can help it to rebuild its protection and extend its life.

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  1. Find as many pieces of the chewed bark as you can. Search the ground that surrounds the damaged tree, and see if you can find any bark that the animal has left behind. Sometimes an animal will just gnaw at the bark and not consume it. The more you are able to retrieve, the better.

  2. Act fast, or else the bark may die. You will want to collect the bark and reattach as soon as possible. Performing this task as soon as you realise that there is a problem is of the utmost importance.

  3. Reattach the bark to the tree, by placing it against the tree’s trunk. Arrange the bark in the same fashion as it was growing. For example, if the bark was growing in vertical strips, reattach it in the same direction of growth.

  4. Wrap masking tape around the damaged tree trunk in order to fasten the bark. You do not have to wrap it too tightly, but you do have to secure it tight enough to hold the bark. Several strips around the circumference of the damaged tree trunk should be sufficient.

  5. Check the bark daily to see whether or not the tree has begun to heal itself. If the masking tape needs to be replaced, do so and check back again the next day. Once you feel that the damaged bark has been successfully accepted by the tree, remove the masking tape. Check the damaged tree periodically to assess its health.

  6. Tip

    Another method of healing a tree with bark damage, especially if the animal has consumed the bark and none is to be found is to perform a clean cut around the damaged area. With a sharp knife, cut a circular shape around the area of the missing bark. Be sure not to cut any deeper than the thickness of the remaining bark. The tree will begin to mend itself at this point.


    If you feel that the damaged tree is not receptive to your attempts to heal it, a professional arborist may need to be called in.

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Things You'll Need

  • Stripped bark from the damaged tree
  • Masking tape

About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.

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