“Benefits of Bark”

Why you should be careful when working around your trees!

 

    Tip 1041

Gardening Tips for successful and beautiful Landscapes and Gardens

 

There are two primary type of trees; monocots (like palm trees) and dicots (like most shade trees).

 

 

Tree bark on a dicot is analogous to our very own skin. The outer layers may be dead, but they provide important functions for the tree as would skin. One of the primary purposes of bark is to create a barrier between the live healthy tissue (or cambium) and the rest of the outside environment. This environment contains bacteria, fungi, viruses and insects that can infect the tree through a wound or infection court.

 

Cross-section of a Dicot

 

Tree's can become sick just like we can, however they don't have the same type of immune systems to fight off the invading pathogen. Trees have to exert extra energy that it may have stored up for winter, to contain the infection or infestation. One method is called resinosis, usually seen in conifers, where the tree will exude abundant amounts of sap or pitch at the infection site to flush out the pathogen.

Hardwood trees may be forced to create extra tissue to wall off the invasion. However these secondary methods of protection are not perfect, and the disease can spread throughout the tree. Foliage will die back at first and then potentially the entire tree may die. This is a greater risk when the tree is in a residential area, where trees are planted close to roads and houses. It is important to consider these consequences to the tree and surrounding environment before creating any injury that could lead to an infection. Removing bark, carving names, improper pruning among other things can create an infection, so treat your trees with care!

If the cambium around the trunk of a tree is damaged this will destroy the path for nutrients to be provided to the entire branch and foliage of the tree, soon causing death. If even half the cambium is destroyed, that side of the tree will die back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2007, Star Nursery, Inc.                                                    Copy Provided courtesy of Star Nursery www.StarNursery.com