Does Tree Bark Grow Back?

Most trees lose their leaves every autumn and regrow them in the spring, but does tree bark grow back? Can you save a tree with damaged bark?

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of tree bark, what happens to a tree with damaged bark, and how to remedy or help a tree with damaged tree bark as advised by a professional tree service in Wake Forest.  

The Importance of Tree Bark  

The bark—the tough outer layer of the tree—serves as a tree’s first line of defense. Much like your skin, the bark protects a tree from harsh elements and safeguards its layers from animals and insects. It also helps to retain moisture and nutrients.  

Primarily, the bark protects the tree’s inner layer directly below it, known as the “phloem,” which acts as the tree’s circulatory system. The phloem moves nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the tree. So damaged bark exposes phloem tissue to damage as well.  

Side Effects of Tree Bark Damage  

While trees have healing measures that help them repair damaged tissue so that diseases don’t interfere with the transportation of nutrients, the healing process doesn’t help damaged bark grow back.  

Trees typically react to bark damage by isolating the wound to prevent infections from compromising the sensitive phloem or spreading to the rest of the tree. So, does tree bark grow back? Once tree bark has been damaged, it doesn’t regrow.  

How To Help a Tree With Damaged Bark  

Once you notice a tree has a damaged bark, assess the extent of damage, as that will inform your next move. Trees can recover from bark damage not exceeding 25% of the trunk’s diameter. Damage beyond that often spells disaster for the tree.  

A tree that loses over 50% of its bark will probably die unless you take proactive measures to fix the problem. 

Popular remedies for damaged bark include bark tracing and bridge grafting. Bark tracing involves using a sharp knife or chisel and hammer to remove jagged edges of the wound, keeping corners rounded off and clean. Be careful not to remove too much healthy bark.  

Jagged edges often continue to rip and cause further damage, so removing them prevents further damage and speeds up the healing process.  

With a bridge gap, you essentially join the ends of the damage with branches or twigs. The bridge aims to restore the flow of nutrients between the roots and leaves and helps to seal the wound by growing new tissue around it.  

You can also protect your tree from bark damage by taking a preventive approach. For example, spreading mulch around the tree trunk or planting ground cover helps to keep lawnmowers and other equipment away from the trunk, minimizing the risk of accidents. 

Seek Professional Help 

It helps to seek professional help or advice before trying to fix a tree’s damaged bark. Dressing the wound may seem helpful, but it can actually cause more harm than good. Such tactics may prevent natural wound isolation and encourage the growth of fungi that will act as a food source for insects and pests. 

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance  

Trust Raleigh Tree Service for expert tree service that will leave your property looking its best. Our solid reputation and character help us foster enduring relationships with our clients. Our comprehensive tree services include:  

  • Tree removal  
  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Lot clearing  
  • Emergency tree services  

Call Raleigh Tree Service at (919) 889-5783 to schedule an appointment for tree service in Greater Raleigh, North Carolina. Reach out any time for answers to the question “Does tree bark grow back?” or other common questions about trees.

You have come to the right place for expert Tree Removal, Tree Trimming, Stump Grinding and Friendly Service! At Raleigh Tree Service, we proudly provide Greater Raleigh, NC and The Triangle with safe, affordable and efficient tree service.

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5300 Atlantic Ave. Suite 106-4

Raleigh, NC 27609


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