Red Dragon JM trunk issue

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Paul Conrad, Jun 14, 2020.

  1. Paul Conrad

    Paul Conrad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    New to this forum and look forward to learning from you all. I’m a Japanese Maple enthusiast in Dallas TX—have 43 of different varieties on my acre lot currently. Last fall I added this Red Dragon to the family (see pics). At the time of planting I didn’t notice any trunk damage, but in the last week or so I noticed bark peeling away from one side of the trunk. I’m familiar with squirrel damage from some of my other Japanese maples (dang rats with bushy tails!) but this doesn’t appear like the animal damage I’ve observed. For example, the wood where the bark recently peeled appears dry and I notice a callous around the wound. Any suggestions of what might be going on and whether I should do anything to help save the tree would be much appreciated. In case it helps, we did not have any unusual spring freezes this year, and the side of the trunk where this wound is evident is actually the most sheltered from sun and wind. The tree isn’t showing any signs of distress currently, and am hoping it can heal and survive. Thanks in advance for your help!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    15,550
    Likes Received:
    12,975
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    @Paul Conrad, good evening and welcome to the maples forum Paul. I have seen damage like this before and the culprits were 'deer'. They will kill trees very quickly if you don't take action.
    Your tree has not suffered girdling damage, so it will survive. The next thing to do to the tree IMO is nothing other than protecting it with a strong mesh protection. By this I mean 6ft chicken wire fencing around the trunk to stop anymore damage.
    Your tree will heal itself over time, but have a scar. It is already starting to do so.
    I do not believe it is tight bark as you would have seen splitting earlier.

    Hope this is of help

    D
     
  3. Paul Conrad

    Paul Conrad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Hi D,

    Thanks for your thoughts! It is certainly possible that it was animal caused and I didn’t notice, though I do water this tree by hand and wonder why I didn’t notice it sooner.

    Regarding protecting the tree, that’s a good suggestion. I should note that we do not have deer, though. With most of my upright JMs I hadn’t considered chicken wire because the squirrels can easily climb and jump. They are our main culprit. I can see how it would at least protect most of the trunk in this case, though it would also detract from the appearance. If only there was a magic cure for squirrels. :)

    Thanks again!
    Paul
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

    Messages:
    15,550
    Likes Received:
    12,975
    Location:
    Hampshire England Zone 8b UK
    Hi Paul. There are some good non obtrusive black tree guards you can buy to protect your lovely Red Dragon. I have a Red Dragon myself and the colours are very special.

    Do you have white tailed deer in your location? Most people actually never see wild deer, unless you work in a wildlife environment. Consider contacting your local authority about this possible problem, just to satisfy yourself it might be this animal causing your damage.

    D
     
  5. 0soyoung

    0soyoung Rising Contributor

    Messages:
    278
    Likes Received:
    356
    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    I don't think that is animal damage. It looks to me that it got desiccated last year or the year before and the cambium died in this area. Now the cambium is regrowing in from the perimeter of the area and in doing so is lifting the bark over that area and some has now fallen away. You can verify/refute this idea, @Paul Conrad, by flicking away a bit more of the bark around this area. You should see a 'lip' like you see around an old pruning cut.
     
    AlainK likes this.
  6. Paul Conrad

    Paul Conrad New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas, USA
    Hi D and Osoyoung,

    Regarding animal damage, I am certain we don’t have deer. In the city of Dallas we have coyotes and bobcats and plenty of other creatures, but not deer. The yard is fenced as well. Thanks, D, for the suggestion about unobtrusive protection from other animals.

    Osoyoung, your suggestion make some sense to me, if does appear from flicking that there is more bark yet to fall off. While the tree is in good conditions since planting (morning sun, afternoon shade) and appropriate watering, I honestly don’t know what conditions it may have been exposed to at the tree farm from which I purchased it. I do know it had been there for a number of years.

    Thanks again to you both!
    Paul
     
  7. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,592
    Likes Received:
    5,134
    Location:
    nr Orléans, France (E.U.)
    I think Osoyoung is right.

    I had this on a couple of my trees, each time on the side of the bark facing south. Here, we can have frost in winter, but if it's sunny during the day, the difference in temperature can weaken the bark, at least that was my conclusion. Temperature shock is my guess. Once the bark is weakened, some fungus can enter the bark.

    I noticed the same phenomenom on some ten street elms planted a few years ago near where I used to work : all of them had the same kind of bark damage, always facing south/south west, the hottest hours of the day.
     
    0soyoung likes this.

Share This Page