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bulging bark

"A Japanese maple has a spot about 7""x4"" on the trunk where the bark has lifted from the trunk, exposing bare wood. The tree is about 7 years old and is 4or 5 inches across the trunk. Has been growing well, does not appear to be animal or mechanical damage. How should I treat this! Thank you!"
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

"Sounds like that could be what they call Southwest Injury--where bark warms up on sunny winter days then becomes damaged when it freezes after sundown. Score the bark with a sharp knife, removing any pieces that could harbor insects or moisture. Don't remove any more of the bark than you absolutely have to. If the wound doesn't go around the whole tree, then it may recover. Then next fall, wrap the bark in protective sleeve, burlap, or tree wrap for the winter, removing in spring.

Luke Miller, editor
Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living magazine"

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