The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

The Garden Guide

September 5, 2011

Recommendation for damage trees after a storm

TARBORO —     Twisted trunks, splintered branches and upswept roots are images etched in my mind compliments of hurricane Irene. A casual observer passing through Edgecombe County might be inclined to reason that high winds and aging trees were largely to blame for the mess that resulted  from last weekend’s disasterous storm. While 60 mph sustained winds, driving rain, declining trees and sandy soils certainly did play a role, a closer inspection of the fallen timber revealed some interesting detail about the overall condition of many of these trees.

    Overall health of your trees While I certainly wish to give Irene the due credit she deserves, there was a pervasive problem of internal decay in many of the fallen trees that I observed. mSome of the trees exhibited only subtle signs of decline; however, a distinct area of decay near the point of collapse was evident in many of the plant casualties. This type of internal tissue decline often results when the “walls” of the tree’s system are unable to compartmentalize the damage. As a result, fungi are introduced into the plant’s system and decay often begins.

    Then, insects acting as secondary pests contribute to the deterioration of the wood. When storm conditions persist, these weakened areas within the tree become extremely vulnerable to damage. As a preventative measure (when maintenance budgets and manpower allow), proper pruning of branches to the branch collar should follow any “damage” event. This enables a tree to develop proper “callus” tissue over the wound preventing the onset of such decay.

    Damage considerations Specialists at N.C. State suggest that you must first decide if the tree is worth saving. In most cases, this is dictated by whether the tree provides an essential function or offers sentimental or historical value. While the answer may be “yes,” you also need to assess the total amount of tissue damage. If over 30- 50 percent of the main branches or trunk are severely split, broken, or mutilated, the benefit of extensive attention is questionable. In addition, it can also be beneficial to assess the quality of the species in question; some tree species are more desirable than others and warrant a greater level of “nursing” care. Small trees which are uprooted should be straightened and staked immediately.

    However, if the tree exceeds 25 feet in height or is leaning in excess of 45 degrees, the prognosis is less than encouraging. A winch or ‘come-along’ can be used to straighten a leaning tree and then staking and guying will be necessary to maintain its upright position. After this procedure, be sure to firm the soil around the roots system to remove any air pockets and then water thoroughly. Keep the tree mulched and well watered during subsequent stress periods.

    Gradually prune and reshape the tree for balance and general appearance over a period of 3 to 5 years. Bruised and peeled bark When the level of damage does not exceeds 30-50 percent of the trunk’s circumference, trim bruised and peeled bark all the way around the wound to sound tissue. This technique will promote rapid healing. Use a sharp knife and do not cut any deeper than necessary. The top and bottom of the cut should be rounded instead of forming a sharp point. This will facilitate movement of moisture and nutrients around the damage area. Bob Filburn is an Edgecombe County Extension Service agent specializing in horticulture. Look for his Garden Guide each month on the Community page.

 

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The Garden Guide
  • pink-nerine.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    Edgecombe’s Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are holding their Spring-Planting Bulb Event tomorrow (March 23) at Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center in the garden department from 10 a.m. until 1 pm. The volunteers will be giving demonstrations on basic bulb planting as well as container planting (bring your own or purchase one from stock).  A variety of pre-packaged summer and fall-blooming bulbs will be sold including: ginger lilies, rain lilies, galtonia, agapanthus, tuberosa, liatris, tigridia, cannas, nerines and many more.  Proceeds from the bulb sales will fund the Extension Master Gardener Volunteers’ spring/summer projects, including those sanctioned by this year’s America in Bloom competition committee. Ace is located at 1713 N. Main St.

    March 22, 2013 2 Photos

  • Master-Gardener.jpg "Ask A Master Gardener"

    Buddy H. (Tarboro) asks: I discovered this unusual substance wrapping the stems on all of my compacta holly when I was pruning them last week.

    March 15, 2013 1 Photo

  • Weeds.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    "As the promise of spring begins to beckon the attention of "dormant" gardeners this time of year, so it is with those dormant weeds that will appear soon enough, making for a lot of catch up work to get our lawns ready for show time," says local Master Gardener Trainee, Bernice Pitt who has just completed certification in an NC State University course in Turf Management.  Pitt is manager of the lawn and garden center at Marrow-Pitt Ace Home Center in Tarboro and is ready to help you with solutions in
    maintaining your lawn.  "I have found that the best source for answers to questions regarding turf grasses is the site:
    www.turffiles.ncsu.edu and another,
    www.turfweedmanagement.ncsu./weedmanagement.aspx," Pitt added. "It's where we found answers to this week's questions."

    March 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • Master Gardener.jpg "Ask A Master Gardener"

    "Ask A Master Gardener" is a weekly column providing our readers solutions to common problems concerning horticulture, gardening, and pest management. Trained Extension Master Gardener Volunteers have access to the research that provides answers.
    Submit your questions by email to  askemgv@gmail.com, call the local Extension Center at 641-7815 and tell them you have a question for a master gardener; a volunteer will return your call with a solution to your problem, or write to "Ask A Master Gardener", c/o The Daily Southerner, P.O. Box 1199, Tarboro, 27886.

    February 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • N1204P66020C.jpg “Ask A Master Gardener”

    Ronnie E. (Conetoe) asks: What is the best temperature and method to store fresh pecans?

    February 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • Filbrun 2.jpg Sanitation: An Important Garden Chore

    So, what will tomorrow bring?  At this time of year, we are riding the roller coaster up and down as winter and spring duke it out.  While it is still too early to start most seeded varieties of annual flower and vegetable varieties, it is not too early to prepare for the upcoming gardening season.

    February 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • "Ask A Master Gardener"

    John W. (Tarboro) Asks: A neighbor posed this question to pass along. They did nothing to winterize their yard and, as a result, have all of the winter-type weeds that survive everything. They wanted to know if there is anything they can do now to kill off the weeds and what and when do they start to try and green up their yard and kill back weeds as we head out of winter.

    February 4, 2013

  • image002-resized.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    This week, we have two questions coming from visitors to the Blount-Bridgers House Garden.  The garden committee works regularly each week to maintain this lovely garden oasis in Tarboro’s Historic District. Garden manager, Jeni Filbrun invites you to join the volunteers, “the weekly weeders,” each Wednesday morning at 10 for an hour of garden tending.

    January 28, 2013 3 Photos

  • Master gardener.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    “Ask A Master Gardener” is a weekly column providing our readers solutions to common problems concerning horticulture, gardening, and pest management.  Trained Extension Master Gardener Volunteers have access to the research that provide answers.  
    Submit your questions by email to askemgv@gmail.com.  Or call the local Extension Center at 252-641-7815 and tell them you have a question for a master gardener; a volunteer will return your call with a solution to your problem, or write to “Ask A Master Gardener”, c/o The Daily Southerner, P.O. Box 1199, Tarboro, NC 27886.

    January 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • paperwhite bulbs-3.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    “Ask A Master Gardener” is a weekly column providing our readers solutions to common problems concerning horticulture, gardening, and pest management.  Trained Extension Master Gardener Volunteers have access to the research that provide answers.  
    Submit your questions by email to askemgv@gmail.com.  Or call the local Extension Center at 252-641-7815 and tell them you have a question for a master gardener; a volunteer will return your call with a solution to your problem, or write to “Ask A Master Gardener”, c/o The Daily Southerner, P.O. Box 1199, Tarboro, NC 27886.

    January 4, 2013 1 Photo

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