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Discussion Starter #1
We're having our farm logged. (Select cut, not clear cut) While working one day the loggers got their bulldozer stuck in mud and hooked a cable around a maple tree to pull it out. A tree I did NOT want cut down. The cable has cut deep gashes clear around the tree. I've heard that if the bark of a tree is cut all the way around the tree, the tree will die. Is this true and if so is there any way at all I can save this tree? I'd really love to save it, but if its a lost cause I will have them go ahead and cut it down so I won't have to deal with that myself when it dies. Appreciate any advice.
 

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agmantoo
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Removing the bark completely around the tree is referred to as girdling and is an old technique for killing undersirable trees without expending a lot of effort. Your tree will most likely die.
 

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Id make em pay 2x the rate for a tree that size for killing it. In the future it would have been a valuable timber tree to cull again.
 

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Hopefully, you will come to your senses and immediately run these loggers off your property, before they totally destroy it. Allowing anyone to log on your property under conditions where a bulldozer gets stuck is sending out a clear signal to the loggers: "go ahead and destroy our property, we don't care".

The maple tree is done for.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, I'm pretty upset about it. As far as the bulldozer getting stuck, its been wet here for months. Its our fault for letting them start before things dried out more. You've answered my question about the tree. Thanks.
 

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If 1/2 the bark were left, it would be saveable. If all is cut, there is a very tiny chance you can graft bark across the cut, but certainly not worth the effort - very slim chance it would work. Sorry.

--->Paul
 

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a less gloomy outlook than the preceeding posts. first of all, how wide is the gap in the bark? if it's narrow, theres a chance that the bark could grow back across the gap. u could facilitate this by trimming away any loose chunks that would interfere with a relatively quick regrowth. does the gap run all the way around? if even a third of the circumference is unharmed the tree could survive. the tree will die from girdling but this is not instantaneous. it will take at least one year. that gives some hope of regrowth.

how much do u care about the tree? if u could thin the top the tree would stand a better chance of survival. girdling deprives the roots of the sugars that form in the leaves. to help the root system much, i'd expect u'd need to remove 25% of the top or more.

finally, as rambler indicated, there is such a thing as a bridge-graft. it involves running severalmall branches as grafts across the gap. any sap that gets down to the roots will prolong their life, and a proper bridge-graft accomplishes this. i can't tell u how to do it but many good gardening books explain it. perhaps the logging company would be willing to pay for a tree surgeon to do this.

it's not so much that the roots starve in this case but they run out of stored sugars which is what allows the tree to leaf out next year.

don't know if this helps any. good luck with it!
 

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If your really attached to the tree, you might try to bridge the gap with bark taken from similar trees, squares at least 3 inches both above and below the gap. I have see cypress trees used for posts in a pole barn, sprout 7 weeks aften they were installed but not debarked. Make the patches as smooth and matching as possible, and do it now while it is dormant. Responsible loggers would have placed a buffer between the tree and the cable.
 

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I have also heard of using something porous like stips from peat moss mats that you get for mulching used to bridge the gap. Pruning the top might help keep the tree from being overwhelmed by need during its healing. You've got nothing to lose by trying. You'd probably need to keep it damp to facilitate capillary action.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, you all have given me a little to hope for :) I may research and try to find out more on how to bridge the gap. I went down and looked at it carefully today and I saw that there are some small places with the bark still intact. The gap is also pretty narrow.
 

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How much of the cambian layer is damaged? If you graft, you must lift cambian wood along with bark from another tree. Cut these pieces slightly larger than the scar you are trying to bridge. Make fresh cuts in your tree to place these pieces. Use a sealant on scars to keep moisture in and viruses and bugs out.

Yeah, make the loggers pay for the tree, there is no excuse for that.
 
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