Tree Carving Solutions: Tips For Fixing A Vandalized Tree

Heart Carved Into A Tree
graffiti carving
(Image credit: BlackDogInn)

Anyone lucky enough to have trees in the backyard can’t help but grow attached to them. If you notice that a vandal has cut into their bark, you’ll immediately want to find tree carving solutions. It is possible to start healing a carved tree. Read on for top tips on how to repair graffiti carvings in trees.

Fixing a Vandalized Tree

Tree bark is very vulnerable to vandalism. You know how even awkward landscaping attempts, like lawn mowing and weed trimming, can affect trees. Deliberate slicing into the tree’s bark can cause even more damage. If the tree was vandalized in early spring or fall, the bark is looser because of plant tissue growth. This can result in greater problems for the tree. Don’t worry though. You can take steps to start fixing a vandalized tree as soon as you notice the problem. There are no magic wands when it comes to tree carving solutions. Vandalized tree care takes time, and you won’t see immediate progress. If you are wondering how to repair graffiti carvings in trees, the first thing to do is to assess the damage. Did the vandal carve initials into the tree, or was a large piece of bark cut out? As long as the vandalism did not remove more bark around more than 25 percent of the trunk diameter, it should survive.

Vandalized Tree Care

Healing a carved tree can involve replacing sheets of bark. If the vandal cut out sections of bark and you can locate them, you may be able to reattach them to the tree. To attempt this type of vandalized tree care, put the removed bark pieces back into the bark as if they were puzzle pieces, finding the original location for each piece. Healing a carved tree requires that you strap these pieces in place with something like burlap pieces or duct tape. Leave this in place for at least three months. Fixing a vandalized tree with this approach works best if you act quickly after the damage is inflicted. If the cuts involve carving initials or other figures into the bark, you can take comfort from the fact that they probably won’t kill the tree if you jump into action quickly. These types of cutting wounds heal better if they are clean with respect to the vertical grain of the bark. Go in with a scalpel or exacto knife and cut along the graffiti edges. Cleaning the edges of the wound promotes healing. Cut out groves, not the entire area. Do not use sealant but allow the wounds to dry in open air.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.