I’ve Warned You Once…
I’ve warned you … make that 10,000 times … that if you don’t protect trees with thin barks from the ravages of sun that they will suffer mightily.
Here’s the sequence:
• You buy a tree that appears to be completely healthy and vigorous.
• You plant it carefully at the right depth, and you may even stake and guy it to keep it bolt-upright.
• You water it properly every 2-3 days during its first couple of summers, and you apply the same amount of water as the container from which it was transplanted. Example: a tree from a 20-gallon pot gets 20 gallons of water every 2-3 days from May through October.
• But you forget to wrap its trunk with paper or plastic tree wrap from the ground up to the lowest tree limb.
• If the tree is a Shumard red oak, Chinquapin oak, or Chinese pistachio (or other thin-barked shade tree), there isn’t enough protection from the hot west or southwest sun.
• The tree that was shaded by other trees in the nursery suddenly is thrust into the summer sun for the first time.
• After 2 or 3 years vertical cracks start to appear in the trunk.
• The cracks get deeper and deeper and internal wood starts to appear.
• Decay may begin as the cracks hold water and debris.
• Wood of the trunk starts to split away from the rest of the trunk.
• The affected side of the tree begins to show signs of distress. Limbs may die back.
• The tree may break or fall. At a minimum it will become deformed. All because it was not protected for its first couple of years with an inexpensive roll of tree wrap.