How to Repair a Damaged Tree Trunk 

how to repair a damaged tree trunk

Trees have a solid reputation for resilience. They easily adapt and know how to brave even the most inclement weather conditions. But that doesn’t make them indestructible or mean that they don’t need some TLC every now and then. 

Tree trunk damage, for example, can compromise tree health significantly, especially if not handled properly. If your tree has incurred trunk damage, you could benefit from a tree risk assessment in Mt. Airy, GA. 

As seasoned tree health experts, we’ll discuss the causes of trunk damage and how to repair a damaged tree trunk. 

Causes of Tree Trunk Damage 

A tree’s trunk may become damaged for various reasons, including: 

  • Insect and pest infestations 
  • Disease 
  • Storm damage 
  • Animal damage 

Tree Trunk Damage Repair Tips 

When learning how to repair a damaged tree trunk, you have multiple options.


If the tree trunk has superficial damage, pruning is a suitable repair method. Pruning simply refers to the process of removing a tree’s dead or damaged branches so the tree can heal with new growth. Pruning takes advantage of compartmentalization, a process by which trees wall off decay. 

Experts recommend pruning when the tree is dormant, usually in late winter or early spring.  

Here are some basic pruning steps:

  • Use a clean, sharp blade or pair of shears to remove any dead or damaged branches. 
  • Cut the branches back to the trunk or point of intersection with a larger branch. Make the cuts at a 45-degree angle to allow for easy rainwater runoff. 
  • If you notice any branches rubbing against each other, prune those as well to prevent wounds or bark damage. 

Cabling and Bracing 

Cabling and bracing work well to repair severe trunk damage. The cables and brackets essentially support the tree until it heals. People often use this method for trees growing in windy areas or those with weak trunks or a tree fork.

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Call an arborist to assess the trunk damage and determine if cabling and bracing will work. 
  • You may hire an expert to do the job or install the cable and brackets yourself. 
  • Finally, tighten the cables snugly but not too tight. This technique aims to support the tree’s weight and prevent further damage. 

Trunk Wrap 

Tree wrapping allows the tree time to heal before it’s exposed to the elements. For this, you can use protective material such as a cloth or burlap and follow these steps:

  • Cut a piece of cloth or burlap large enough to wrap around the tree trunk 
  • Wrap it around tightly and secure it in place with a wire or tape 
  • Leave the wrap on for about a year, checking on it periodically and changing it as needed. 

Create a Bridge Graft 

When a tree loses a significant portion of bark from its trunk, it struggles to support nutrients from its roots to its leaves. Bridge grafting involves finding healthy branches or twigs, cutting them loose then creating openings (flaps) on either side of the broken bark where you can fit the grafts pointing upward. 

This technique helps to restore water and nutrient flow to the rest of the tree. 

If you’ve tried every trick under the sun to no avail or have doubts about doing the repairs yourself, call a certified arborist. 

Trust Your Local Tree Experts 

Are you looking for tree care experts who understand the value of healthy trees? Our team boasts over 20 years in business. We can handle any tree situation and offer various tree services, including: 

  • Tree risk assessment 
  • Tree trimming and pruning 
  • Emergency tree service 
  • View enhancement 

Call us at (706) 949-9016 for more information on how to repair a damaged tree trunk or to learn how much tree root damage a tree can take. 

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