I often write about the damaged cause to trees due to the effects of improper staking and supporting as it is an issue that never goes away and is something that I am faced with every day as I walk from home to work. The first issues are oblivious in terms that poor and lack of tree staking can lead to trees not being properly supporting and causing damage to both stems and roots in high winds. However the issues surrounding tree ties such as garden tying tube is less well known, but the damage caused can be equally severe, often leading to the death of younger trees and the stunted growth of older ones.
When trees are sold from garden centres they come supported by bamboo canes which is there to keep the tree upright and main stem straight while it is young and unable to support itself. These canes are fixed to the tree using a green garden tying tube which is put there and only meant to be there until the trees have been purchased and planted in the ground. This tying tube is a temporary tie that should be removed on planting and replaced with a more permanent tree stake and tree tie.
The effects of leaving the garden tying tube around the stem of a tree includes damage to the outer bark of the tree which can in turn leave the tree susceptible to disease such as canker. This will stay with the tree as it grows and prevent it from developing into a strong and healthy tree.
But a far more likely and dangerous effect of leaving the garden tying tube around a tree stem is that the tree will far outgrow the tie and the tie itself will bury its way into the bark. When this happens the inner layer of the bark becomes completely severed which will have detrimental effects on the plants ability to move food and hormones around.
Just underneath every tree and shrubs bark is a delicate network of channels called Phloem vessel and phloem tubes which are responsible for the movement of food made in the leaf in the process of photosynthesis, down through the plant’s stems and bark and down into the plant’s roots through a milky white substance called sap. When garden tying tubes bury into the bark of young trees they brake this link between the plant’s leaves and the plant’s roots causing the roots to slowly die due to lack of food.
So, if you encounter this problem or you have just purchased a plant from a garden centre, then make sure that you remove the bamboo cane and garden tying tube when planting the tree. Replace with a suitable trees stake and tie loosely to tree. Every year asses the tree ties to determine whether they require loosening, replacing or removing.