Weekly Garden Tip: Tree Trunk Protection
ITEMS OF GARDEN WORTHINESS!!!
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Apply The Tree Sunscreen Now
Last week we talked about planting shade trees and the many benefits of doing so! Proper planting is of utmost importance in the longevity of trees and proper planting isn’t just in how big to dig the hole, but also in keeping the main structure of the tree in good health until it is well established. Perhaps the most important aspect of that in Arizona where we get so many sunny days is to protect the trunk of newly planted or thin skinned trees.
If the trunk of a tree receives too much sun it can become damaged just as our skin does. If this damage is too severe, the outer protective layer of the tree’s trunk may begin to die an peel away. This causes several problems. Unlike human skin plants don’t have the ability to replace those damaged cells and they just get “walled” off and become a big scar. This may cause cosmetic issues, but more importantly it becomes a place for secondary invaders to appear. Fungus,Sooty canker, insects and so on now have a place to live and thrive. This damaged spot if deep enough may also inhibit the flow of water and nutrients up and down the tree’s system. As you can see protection of the trunk and major limbs is a must until the tree is large enough to provide shade for itself.
Methods of protection are: Tree Paint-we suggest using Go Natural which is almost invisible and actually does a better job blocking out the damaging sun than the traditional white! Tree Wrap: wraps may come in various materials and colors from white gauze like material to cardboard like. As long as they are breathable materials and can expand as the trunk grows any should be ok. Almost all trees would benefit from trunk protection but the most important are fruit trees, and citrus trees, ficus,ash and any other that has a light colored or smooth skin-lacking a protective type bark. And don’t just do this in the summer. Sun damage can occur anytime of year and in the case of deciduous trees can actually be worse in the winter when no leaves are present to provide shade-do it year round at time of planting is our advise!