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Mechanical Damage to Trees

A mechanical bark wound often seriously affects the vascular system & disrupts or prevents its normal function.
Mechanical injury from line trimmers and mower decks on this multi-trunk Crape Myrtle disrupts the flow of water and elements through the tree’s vascular system and creates unwanted stress. All photos provided by Bill Seaman.

Published May 30, 2013 By STEVE HOUSER

 

With the onset of summer, it is important to note that the Number One enemy of trees, mechanical injury, is out in full force. Tree bark can be tough, but line trimmers and lawnmowers can inflict serious injury to trees. In severe cases, a valuable tree can die as a result of whacking the weeds or turf at the tree’s base. Just under the bark of a tree lies the vascular system that carries water and elements up and down the tree. A mechanical bark wound often seriously affects the vascular system and disrupts or prevents its normal function.

Although it is tempting to blame line trimmers or lawnmowers as the culprits, it is more accurate to blame the equipment operator. An equipment operator can be over-zealous and damage a tree. And should turf really be growing at the base of a tree?

To read the entire article, select Download PDF below the picture and to the right. 

About the author

Mr. Steve Houser

Mr. Houser is a Dallas native with almost 40 years of experience as a consulting arborist and expert tree climber. He is the president and owner of Arborilogical Services, “The Experts Your Trees Deserve.”®

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