Sunscald 101 and How Treekote Tree Wrap Can Help
What is tree sunscald?
When a tree is exposed to too much strong sunlight, the outer layer of the bark can develop lesions or damaged spots that can allow diseases to enter the tree’s system.
When and why does this occur?
Sunscald typically develops when a tree’s canopy has been overpruned or another shade-providing tree or man-made structure has been removed from the area. It most often happens to recently planted trees, young trees and trees with thin bark, especially in the fall or late winter when the weather changes rapidly. On warm winter days, the sun heats up the tree enough that sap begins to run but if the temperatures drop below freezing at night, the sap freezes in the trunk. Sap contains large amounts of water, which expands when it freezes. This expansion causes the tree’s phloem layer. The rapid expansion and contraction causes the wood to separate and crack.
Susceptible species include maple, linden, mountain-ash, birch, walnut, crabapple, fruit trees, aspen, ash and willow, among others. Evergreen trees are less vulnerable because their lower branches provide better shade for the trunk. Trees that get sunscald on their trunks can be stunted.
What does tree sunscald look like?
Sunscald can be identified by an extensive area of dead bark on the trunk, branches or both. The affected area may be sunken with dried, cracked bark that peels off over time to expose dead wood.
How can Treekote Paper Tree Wrap help?
The best way to treat sunscald is to prevent it before it even starts. Young trees should be placed where they can get enough shade from buildings, fences or evergreens. The right amount of water and fertilizer should be given and pruning should be performed carefully.
Trunks can also be dressed with Treekote Tree Wrap to protect it from the sun in the winter and early spring. This light colored and loose fitting wrap helps prevent the tree from damage or splitting that may occur. Damage to the inner bark can ultimately affect a tree’s ability to transport nutrients and water from the root to the leaves. Treekote Tree Wrap also protects a tree against rodents, windburn, lawn trimmers and wood-boring insect species.
When and how to install Treekote paper Tree Wrap?
Timing is the most important aspect of Treekote Tree Wrap. It should be applied in the fall when a tree’s growth is slowing for the season (typically around November), then be removed in early spring as temperatures begin to warm up again (typically around April). This prevents excessive moisture retention in the tree that may cause the bark to rot.
To apply, start at the bottom of your tree’s trunk. Begin winding the Treekote Tree Wrap around the entire base working at a slight upward angle until you reach the lowest set of branches. It should be snug enough that it won’t fall down, but not overly tight. When you reach the top, cut the Treekote Tree Wrap to length and secure the end with tape. You should avoid securing it with anything that wraps around the entire tree, such as twine or wire ties, as it may cause girdling.
Eaton Brothers offers Treekote Tree Wrap in 3” x50’ and 4” x 150’ for your convenience.