One of the primary sources of bark damage on landscape trees is mechanical damage. These are brakes in the bark caused by some physical force and not by animals, insect or disease.

High on the mechanical list is the universally used lawn mower. Trying to get too close to the trunk of young trees with smooth, immature bark is probably the number one source of bark damage in the home landscape. In trying to get that last blade of grass, we routinely bang into the bark and cause damage. Other ways we damage our trees would be with weed whips, pruning tools, toys, snow plows, etc.

The only approach here is to prevent the damage from occurring by avoiding contact with the bark of your trees. Once the bark has been split, it will probably develop canker disease.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

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