Damaged Bark On Tree: Repair Tips From Tree Care Experts

How To Treat Damaged Bark on a Tree

Are you worried about damaged bark on a tree? This condition is serious but doesn’t necessarily mean the tree will die. In this post, Island Tree Service, your trusted tree service in Fort Myers, FL, explains how to deal with this condition. 

damaged bark on tree

Check the Tree Type

Before worrying about your tree dying, confirm the species. In some cases, it’s normal for bark to peel from the tree trunk. If it’s damaged bark rather than peeling, carry on reading and then act quickly. 

Assess the Tree Wound

The first thing to do when you notice damaged bark on a tree is to see how far the damage spreads. If it’s less than 25%, the tree bark should easily heal itself. If there’s up to 50%, your tree needs help recovering. If it’s more than that, you need professional help, or the tree will likely die. 

Perform Bark Tracing Repair

This technique is ideal for small areas of torn bark. Here, you smooth off the jagged edges to allow that part of the tree to heal more easily. Carefully remove dead tissue without harming the underlying parts.

Aim to create a ring shape to better replicate the tree’s natural healing processes. A round shape reduces the healing time for your plant and leaves a more pleasing scar, if applicable. 

Replace Detached Bark

For larger areas of damage, consider reapplying the bark. This technique works well when there are sections of bark that are peeling away but still partially attached.

Gently press the tissue back in place to cover the area. Now secure the bark using duct tape, gardening tape, or a piece of burlap to tie it into place. It’ll take a few months for the wound to heal, so check it periodically to make sure it’s still attached. 

Also, look out for signs of rot. If you see signs of fungal growth or decomposing, remove the tape or burlap and remove the bark. Apply a fungicidal treatment or call our arborist for help. 

Heavily Damaged Tree Repair

If there’s a lot of damage, especially if there is a large section around the whole tree, your tree is in danger. Try to tie on the bark and call our professionals as soon as possible. Reattaching the bark is a simple technique to protect the open tissue rather than the fix. 

Your arborist will evaluate the damage and see if they can perform a bridge graft, a form of ‘surgery on trees,’ which is crucial in cases of severe bark damage. Doing so increases the chances of the tree’s recovery, but it is an advanced technique that is best left to the experts. This surgical approach helps to bridge the gap in the tree’s vascular system, promoting healing and recovery.

Support Your Tree

Supporting your tree during its recovery will enhance its healing processes. 


Start by checking the soil for nutrient deficiencies. If necessary, add minerals to correct any imbalances. Then, carefully apply some good-quality compost. This not only provides nutrients the tree needs but also aerates the soil. The combination fortifies the tree, making it easier for it to heal and ward off disease. 


Check the soil carefully to ensure that it has enough moisture in it. You’ll need to dig a hole about two inches deep. If the soil at that level is dry, you need to water it deeply. 


Start applying an organic mulch from just outside the root flare until the outside of the drip line. This will: 

  • Protect the roots from the sun
  • Help the soil retain water and regulate its temperature
  • Smother the weeds that compete for resources
  • Decompose slowly, adding nutrients to the soil

Let Us Help You Save Your Tree

Worried about damaged bark on a tree? Or do you have questions about why trees fall down? Island Tree Service is here to help. Consult Island Tree Services by calling (239) 463-5121.

Call Now Button