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  • I258 trunk bark peeling off

    I’ve grown this I258 from a cutting about 4 years ago. Ever since, the main trunk has been leaning. So much so that I have to put 2 bricks on on the pot to keep it from falling over. This pressure and probably the rain have caused the trunk to start to peel its bark pretty severely. Is there anything I can do to help the tree grow this bark back? It’s too late to try to bend the tree back into shape. Also, I’ve made an air layer just in case the worst happens

    try to ignore the mess in the background. It’s my kids play area
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

  • #2
    The good news is you have options here.
    1 you can repot it into a larger pot, when you do just stand it back up correctly and fill the voids under the root ball with soil until it supports it, then fill around the edges and then the top. Get a good watering to see if it will lean when the soil settles.
    2 you can do a patch graft of bark by removing the bark to the Cambrian layer around the effected area, then from another fig tree you can cut a section of bark and Cambrian off and attempt to graft it on making sure the green layers are well overlapped on all sides.
    the new bark takes and begins to grow creating new tissue over the bad area.

    i learned it from an old guy a long time ago. There actually used to be a type of tradesmen called a “tree surgeon” they were basically grafting specialists.

    if your not comfortable grafting i wouldn't worry about it that much, trees have been recovering from things like this for as long as there have been trees. 👍

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    • #3
      If it were mine, I would set an air layer above the damaged bark. The tree is tall and lanky with no real branching. Typically I would head something like this back to ~20-24", but with the damage down low the air layer would be the safer bet.
      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
      – Source Unknown
      MA 5b/6a

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      • Figgerlickinggood
        Figgerlickinggood commented
        Editing a comment
        Just out of curiosity is there enough time left in the season to root air layer?

      • ginamcd
        ginamcd commented
        Editing a comment
        The last one I did was set in early August. Earlier is best, but later can work.

    • #4
      abeadpapda,

      Sorry to say that but, you do have an acute trunk sun burn problem that will probably kill your tree.
      In my grounds over the ages tree trunks much exposed to sun burn are always white washed for protection against damaging sun exposure as well as an array bad criters-hat this fellow is showing and listen to his wise talk.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObUfdpVOqaw

      Bark damaging by rodents, deer chewing it etc,.. or other mechanical factors (not sun burn) are effectively possible to repair by selective 'bridge grafts' over the damaged areas by connecting growing live cambium on a whip between above and bellow the damaged areas
      if you google bridge grafts you will find a lot of examples

      Good luck
      JR/Portugal
      Last edited by JR; 08-04-2021, 08:58 AM.

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      • #5
        I agree with Gina about taking an airlayer off about the damage. Next, I would cut it below the damage and see if rejuvenation pruning would bring it back.
        https://youtube.com/channel/UCHHopi_E99OBvafBPEcF_pg
        Zone 8B - Cottage Grove, Or
        Wish List - Crema di Wheat

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        • #6
          This past fall I saw the same thing on one trunk of a multi-trunk tree, which was leaning like yours. The next spring, that trunk alone was attacked by Ambrosia Beetles. I should have cut it last fall. You have time to do as Gina suggests and air layer off the top, and then prune it back below the damage as Netstars said. JR is right. This damage can't be saved otherwise. If all goes well, you will have two straight trees, so there's that at least. Best of luck to you!
          Last edited by 2AngelsMushrooms; 08-04-2021, 11:12 PM. Reason: typo
          Angel #1 at 2 Angels Mushrooms & Figs-Chattanooga, TN Zone 7-B
          You are invited to The Fig Frolic on Sat., Sept. 17th, AND Hang Time (for OurFigs only) INFO HERE

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          • #7
            Cracking can occur on a SW sun exposed trunk during hot, summer months The bark expands and cracks due to the direct sun and heat. Since the opposite side will have normal growing bark, the tree will survive OK. Paint the whole trunk with 50% white latex paint. Maybe even place a 2' plant in front to provide constant shade. or move it behind a bush. You can also wrap around one of those curly-Q white plastic strips with holes.
            Last edited by TahomaGuy2; 08-04-2021, 10:36 PM.
            Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b) by Portland.

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            • #8
              Resolution: I opted to air layer it! Thanks for all the help gang
              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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              • #9
                I think your airlayer needs to look like this. You'll need lots of roots to support a tree that size.
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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                • #10
                  Great decision, however I also think you need to go bigger with the air layer. There is no way that small one will hold enough roots to be able to support the size of the top growth above.
                  Last edited by ginamcd; 08-06-2021, 09:34 PM.
                  “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
                  – Source Unknown
                  MA 5b/6a

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                  • #11
                    Yikes. Ok. Thanks for the quick catch. I’ll redo it. Thanks

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