How to undo damage done by deers' antlers

garden q&a

December 20, 2008|By Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld | Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Deer stripped a lot of bark off my magnolia 2-3 feet from the ground. I fenced the magnolia, but should I wrap the damaged branches to protect them from winter cold?

The living part of trees is located immediately under the bark. This cambium layer is only about 1/4 inch thick but is where the trees' vascular system is located. When the bark is damaged or removed, the cambium layer is usually destroyed also.

Deer rub their antlers on trees in the fall, and if bark is stripped all the way around the trunk, the tree will die above the damage. When only part of the trunk is damaged, the area directly above might die. Do not wrap branches or trunk. If your magnolia has a good root system, it might grow new replacement shoots below the damage.

Can Fraser firs survive in Southern Maryland? I love their scent.

No, Southern Maryland does not have the right type of climate for Fraser fir. They are native to the mountains of West Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee - at altitudes of 3,000-6,000 feet. They suffer in hot, dry climates. Concolor fir is recommended for the warmer regions of Maryland.

Ellen Nibali, a horticulture consultant, works at Maryland Cooperative Extension's Home and Garden Information Center, and Jon Traunfeld is the director of the Home and Garden Information Center. The center offers free gardening information. Call the center's help line at 800-342-2507 or e-mail plant and pest questions at hgic.umd.edu.

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