A few nights ago, when we were sound asleep, rabbits came into our yard and ate the bark all the way around our two newly planted apples trees. I have...
How to save girdled trees? #819134
Asked January 24, 2023, 5:18 PM EST
A few nights ago, when we were sound asleep, rabbits came into our yard and ate the bark all the way around our two newly planted apples trees. I have ordered tree tape and plan to wrap the exposed trunks with the tape in an effort to replace the lost bark. In addition, I have purchased plastic tree shields to act as another layer of protection.
What else could be done?
If the rabbit removed the bark completely around the tree it has girdled the trunk and it will kill the tree above that damaged site. For the newly planted apple trees with severe damage (100 percent girdled trunk), cutting the trunk back below the injured area will save the tree. This will induce the regrowth and the newly developing shoot should be trained as a replacement tree. Please read about bridge grafting. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/bridge_grafting_as_a_life_saving_procedure_for_trees
This work is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.