Repairing Damaged Tree Bark?

Category Tree Health
There are ways to help a tree heal when the bark is damaged by insects, animals, tools, or weather. This page is about repairing damaged tree bark.


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June 14, 2007

The bark of my two dogwoods was accidentally cut with a weed-whacker. Because these trees seem stressed already (small, stunted black-tipped leaves), I am concerned about their survival. Is there anything I can do to maximize their chances? Or do I have to cross my fingers and wait?

Hardiness Zone: 6a

Aline from Harpers Ferry, WV


By Darlene (Guest Post)
June 15, 20070 found this helpful

If your county has one, call the County Extension Office. Here, in Michigan, they offer help of most kinds! I hope they have one for you. If not, give the one in Michigan a call. Perhaps they could help you.
Good luck.

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By Lynda (Guest Post)
June 15, 20070 found this helpful

If cut all the way around, it's urgent to get professional advice. There should be some liquid patching compound that could help if the bark is not badly mutalated? It's possible, if still fresh, and not too badly damaged that you could also get "tree wrap" and wrap it very well, after following professional advice, and see it heal


with that protection. I certainly wouldn't cut it down
until you've given it a year to recouperate, even if it LOOKS dead as a results. I'd reduce the water and fertilizer for a time, to not stress it more, until you get your professional advice, asking when to restart
watering and if you should fertilize and with what kind,and amounts. Arborists are VERY expensive, but if the trees are valuable to you, and you have the money and desire to save them, you might find
one who can indeed save it. Look on the Internet for
"emergency tree bark patching"first, and use good judgment, considering the source. Good luck and God bless and help you. : )

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By Bronna (Guest Post)
June 21, 20070 found this helpful

I skinned a tree last summer and this is what I put on it. 1/2 cup of interior latex paint, 1/2 cup of antiseptic mouthwash, and 1 teaspoon of any pest killer like you spray your home with.


I mixed this together and painted the wound. Everyone said my tree was going to die. This spring it leafed out and looks very healthy. This worked for me. Hope it helps.

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November 2, 2011

The Northeast has been hit by an early winter snow storm. A large limb broke off from my magnolia tree. As the limb fell, most of the bark was removed from the trunk of the tree. Is there anything that I can put on the exposed portion of the tree to prevent disease or further damage?

By Emily R.


November 4, 20110 found this helpful

Have you contacted your local extension agent? If not, Google your local university plus the words extension service to find your local office and website-loads of free info on your local site geared for your specific area.


I live in the UK now but spent 30+ years in the American South-land of the beautiful magnolia. If your tree had been damaged in the Deep South I would have (as a Master Gardener) advised leaving the tree alone to avoid any sort of wound paint being more of a environment for fungi and disease than a protection or remedy for the wounds caused by the storm.

But I have no experience with the Northeast. You need info specific to your area, and should get advice from someone trained (as are Master Gardeners by your extension service) for your locale.

Good luck, I hope your tree survives, the magnolia is one of the most beautiful and fragrant trees around when they are in bloom.

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May 26, 2010

I need to repair the skinned bark on a Navel orange tree. What do I do? Thanks.

By JOHN GATTO from Port Orange, FL


May 26, 20100 found this helpful

Wrap tape all around the tree. Good luck.

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My two 7 year old raywood ash trees have slowly developed long oval-shaped, hollowed out areas on the trunks. I noticed the trunks have quite a few ants traveling around these areas. What should or can I do?


By Judy

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