GROWING THINGS: Concern about chokecherry gashes from a truck

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Q We have a six-year-old Schubert chokecherry that was damaged last month when a truck backed into it. The tree now has several small gashes where only the bark appears damaged. However, there is one large gash about 15 cm wide that seems to be several layers (but less than one cm) deep. The tree does not tilt, nor has it cracked.

I’m wondering whether it’s necessary to bind or bandage that gash. Is there a product I can apply that will minimize any long-term damage, or do you think the tree will “heal” itself come summertime?

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A Your description is a very good one and it helps me to visualize the damage well. Trees are remarkably resilient and can take a lot of damage. The damage you describe should not cause a problem to the tree. The small gashes will easily heal. The large gash, because it is less than one cm deep, should also be able to heal. There is no need to apply anything such as a tree wound sealer. I have mentioned in the past that these products have been found to seal in and encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Just leave the wounds to heal in the air. Keep an eye on the large gash in the spring and summer. You should start to see the wound dry out and the bark at the top and the bottom of the cut begin to turn inward. This is the sign that the healing has begun. If you are concerned about the health of the tree an arborist can help but I really think your tree should be just fine.

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Every week, Growing Things Outdoors runs online at edmontonjournal.com or, if you prefer an epaper format, epaper.edmontonjournal.com. Learn more by emailing your questions to [email protected], reading past columns in the Life section at edmontonjournal.com or my book, Just Ask Jerry. You can also follow me on X(Twitter) @justaskjerry01.

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