Thursday, 24 February 2011

Bark and Bite

It's a shame that dog damage like this is something we see a lot on Millfields. In the photo left, a Norway maple has had the bark stripped vertically. On the right, a cherry has evidently had a dog swinging from a branch.

If you see dog damage, please contact the parks tree officers , and (please cc so we know about it). I let them know about the maple, and they had a guard on it the next day (left). Or and I'll pass it on. Whether they'll be there after the cuts remains to be seen.

Stripping bark can kill the tree because the nutrients pass up and down in the layer just underneath, the cambium. Ring-barking, stripping the bark all the way round, is a foresters' technique to kill a tree while leaving it standing. A forester uses an axe, but a dog's teeth will do the job.

Any thoughts about how to educate people who allow & even encourage dogs to do this? Posters? 'Is your dog ring-barking mad?'


  1. I removed the term 'dog owners': on second thought I realised it insulted true dog owners.

    How about getting kids to design signs to put on trees? It'd be consciousness raising in 2 ways - the signs & the children.

  2. At Hackney Parks Forum, we heard that the police would like us to dial 999 if we see dogs damaging trees happening. It is a problem borough wide. Apparently it's most likely to happen when bored dogs are waiting while their humans do other business.