Protect Trees from Rodents, Sun Injury
Sunscald is an injury prevalent in the prairie sections of the country. It appears as dead sunken areas of bark on the trunks of trees particularly on the south and southwest sides. Exposed trunks of fruit trees, especially apple and pear, and some ornamental trees such as the mountain ash, suffer from this condition. Apparently the injury occurs in late winter. Day temperatures above the freezing point followed by below-freezing nights cause damage to the wood on the exposed side of the tree. Most damage occurs on the southwest side of the trunk.
This kind of damage can be lessened if young trees are trained so they branch low to the ground. Growing mountain ash in a clump form instead of to a single trunk aids in lessening sunscald injury. Growing shrubs near the base of susceptible trees assists in protecting tender bark. Painting trunks with white paint is another “old timers” method followed.