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Loose Bark - Good, Bad, Indifferent?

lxskllr

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I asked in passing awhile ago, but didn't get any bites. One of my locusts has loose bark still attached. This tree's on it's way out, but I want to keep it for the time being. I'll soon be climbing it to take a bit off the top(I'd have done it this weekend, but all my gear's at work), and do an inspection while I'm up there. It'll be fully srs cause I want to try all the gear in an easy straight climb, and I'm afraid if I use spurs, it'll take a lot of the bark off. That got me thinking about the role of unattached bark. The two possibilities I see are...

1: It's bad cause it provides a hiding place for insects/fungi/infection, and traps moisture against the stem encouraging rot.

2: It's good because it protects the stem from the elements, and possibly limits separation by keeping things from working against the edge.

Opinions? This is mainly in the context of a tree that doesn't have much life left, but I guess it could be extended to trees with *split bark and other anomalies.

*I have some questions regarding a walnut, but I have to get in the tree to get a good look, and take some pics. That'll be for another thread.
 

stig

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It is good because it provides a habitat for insect/ fungi etc.
We have a are bat here, that nests under loose bark, I'm currently creating habitat for that.

I have never seen a locust bothered by loose bark.
If it is dying, it is not because of that.

That is like saying someone with lung cancer is dying because he/she coughs a lot.
 

lxskllr

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It's dying cause it's end of life. It doesn't have much time regardless of the bark. The question was intended to optimize the time it has left. That's why I wasn't concerned about spurring up to do a prune. Any damage the spurs would cause would manifest beyond it's expected life. But, the spurs *will* pull off sheets of bark leaving feet of the stem exposed. I want to use rope regardless, for the reasons previously stated, but the question stands. Would spurring up the tree, and removing a bunch of bark be worse than roping up and leaving the bark in place.
 

stig

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IMO yes!
Don't listen to me though.
I'm a pinko, vegetarian leftie treehugger.













Who just happens to have killed more trees than any other member here :lol:
 

lxskllr

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Is it dead under the loose bark?
It is by definition, no? It's hard dry wood underneath. I figure when the bark separates, it's no longer performing it's function. Dunno how far around it's dead, There's some good bark, cause it still leaves out; mostly... That's what my prune is gonna handle. There's a fork up top, with one somewhat dead side, and one that had decent leaves. I want to leave a forked stub, and I'm hoping it'll branch out from that. I'm not expecting this tree to last long, but every year's a bonus. That's assuming I don't find anything really terrible on my way up. If it just falls over, it won't be a huge disaster, but that's kinda lame. I want to keep it as long as possible, and take it down on my terms when the time comes.
 

Jomo

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The question's whether loose bark's detrimental to a climber, the obvious answer's yes, use SRT to ascend.

But as a naturalist, I'd say for the tree's health? Maintaining as much bark for as long as possible's conducive to both the tree's health, and the ecosystem they grow in.

Sunscald that literally burns the bark off is an all to often result of canopy removal/topping here in SoCal on certain species like coral and karob trees, among others

Obviously insulating themselves against heat and the elements has topped the to do list for trees for quite some time.

You'd almost think they'd be better off without us around.........

Jomo
 
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Marc-Antoine

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Almost...:/:
Loose bark retains the humidity on the dead wood. It retains under it the nests, the silk and the bits of shit from the insects and tiny criters living there. That keeps the humidity too, and makes a good medium for other criters and fungi. The last isn't too good for the structure stability of the tree. But truth to be said, black locust isn't the most sensitive to the fungi, and I bet that the bark will fall off and disapear before any damage could be seen to the wood (aside from the damages made by the fungi already there since a long time).
 
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