UKTC Archive

Re: Ring barking recovery success (or not).

Subject: Re: Ring barking recovery success (or not).
From: David Lonsdale
Date: Jan 11 2017 18:38:48
DL: I think that complete ring-barking usually kills oak trees, since they are ring-porous and thus depend a lot on their outermost annual ring of springwood for water-conduction. They do, however, have some conductive capacity in the older sapwood, which might be sufficient to maintain the crown for while. The tree might even survive long enough for new bark and wood to grow over the ring-barked strip, thus providing new water conduits. The narrower the ring-barked strip the better, but death is still likely if the water-demand is high. I regret to say that 150 mm (six inches) is decidedly wide in this respect!

It is possible to aid the 'bridging' of the gap by grafting twigs across the strip or by "arch grafting", in which saplings are grafted above the strip. If the vandals are known, perhaps get them to pay! I have seen an Australian video, where bridge grafting helped to save a vandalised eucalyptus (perhaps easier with a diffuse-porous species, despite the high water-demand in a hotter climate).

A few years ago I was asked to report on a mature oak, which had been ring-barked, with a V-shaped chain-saw cut. The tree has recovered very well but this was probably by virtue of >10 % of the stem circumference having been spared from the ring-barking (a fence had obstructed the vandal's chainsaw).

-----Original Message----- From: David Massheder
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2016 3:59 PM
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Ring barking recovery success (or not).

Afternoon UKTCers,

Can anyone point me in the direction of research/case studies of ring barked trees adapting/surviving to the damage. We have a site where a large number of early mature Oaks have been completely ring barked but in some situations only as wide as approx. 150mm. I'm sure I saw reference to some new research recently but I'd be interested to know if they have a chance or if we need to consider them as inappropriate for protection.

I have found this one:

I won't send the pics - too depressing for a Friday afternoon.

Many thanks,

David Massheder | Tree and Landscape Officer |Planning and Environmental Services Wealden District Council | Council Offices | Vicarage Lane | Hailsham | East Sussex | BN27 2AX Tel. 01892 XXXXXX |<> | Web.<>






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