Healing WoundsJust as your skin creates a scar over some cut or burn, trees also try to heal any damage done to them as the result of a limb being broken or cut off. A scab takes a few days to properly form and this is a person's way of being protected from additional trauma to that area. For a tree, however, this process may take years.
Another way a tree may be damaged is when two trunks grow too close to each other and rub away the protective bark. Sometimes the cambium layers of these trees connect and the trees grow together.
At the bottom of the hill going from Borges Ranch where the Shell Ridge Loop trail "tees" into the road going to Castle Rock, there are two trees that display these events. One sawed-off limb has been completely covered over by bark and this may have taken forty years. Right at the Castle Rock Road, there is another tree where two trunks have fused. If you can find these trees, you'll see how trees heal their own wounds.
June 18, 2003