How Do Trees Heal Wounds When You Get it Trunked or Trimmed?

Throughout their lives, trees have managed to withstand a variety of injuries and assaults. They have to because they are immobile and can’t move to prevent injury. Trees are often battered, whether by ice- or wind-stripped branches or lawnmower dings. Indeed, a mature, healthy forest tree could have a thousand wounds – wounds that can expose the inside of the stem (and thus the rest of the tree) to bacteria and fungi, resulting in disease, decay, breakage, and death. Trees must overcome their injuries in order to survive. However, they do not heal their wounds in the same way as human and animal bodies do, in terms of repairing, restoring, or replacing damaged cells or tissue. Trees are made up of layers of cells that are separated by rigid walls and constructed in a modular, compartmentalized fashion. Their wound response is determined by this structure. You must check out some companies like Empire Tree Augusta GA for tree maintenance services.

Trees expand their trunks and branches outward from a layer of actively dividing cells during each annual growth cycle. New wood is added in cone-shaped increments, enveloping the previous year’s smaller, cone-shaped increment. Consider a stack of traffic pylons. As a result, trees expand in length and girth in front of themselves, ever upward and outward.

A tree can’t go back in time and restore or replace a broken cell. It can, however, contain and excommunicate any given injury from the rest of the still-growing tree, limiting the harm it causes. It’s the sealing, not the curing, that’s the key. By isolating the wound and then developing beyond it, the emphasis is on preventing the spread of damage – especially bacterial and fungal infections and the decay they cause.

Trees close wounds in two different ways, creating chemical and physical barriers around the injured cells. First, they create a reaction zone, which changes the composition of the existing wood around a wound and makes it uninhabitable for decay species. Then, with new tissue called “callus” or “wound wood” growing outward, they create a barrier zone to compartmentalize the damaged tissue. If all goes as planned, the callus growth will cover and seal the wound, allowing fresh, uncontaminated wood to grow over and beyond it.

The reacting callus cells on the edges of a wound expand freely and form elongated rolls when they are not constrained by bark pressure. These are the “ribs” of new growth that gradually enclose wounds, such as on a branch pruning stub that becomes less noticeable. This new growth distinguishes the wood that was present at the time of the injury from the new wood that grew afterward. Depending on the tree species and health, the rate and effectiveness of this response vary. Both chemical and physical functions are needed, but they occur in a manner that is somewhat independent of one another.

The fact that a wound closes quickly on the outside does not mean that the internal reaction zone has effectively stopped an infection from spreading. Understanding how trees react to wounds highlights yet another distinction in how trees and people respond to wounds. Although we may find it beneficial to apply antimicrobial ointment to a cut and cover it with a bandage, this is not the case for trees. Although applying paint, tar, or other dressings and fillers to a tree’s wound can be tempting, it actually interferes with the tree’s usual wound response and should be avoided. Trees must seal and close, and they do it much better without the use of additives. You must check out some companies like  Empire Tree Repair for tree maintenance services.

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