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CAN I REMOVE THE GUY WIRE THAT HAS GROWN INTO THE BARK OF MY TREE?

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I’ve been a long time listener, and actually chose the Chinese Pistache tree for my front yard based on recommendations I’ve heard on your show.

The tree is flourishing, but for one issue. This summer, it has decided to wrap itself around the material we had been using to support it (wire/ rubber, and all) and is oozing sap. Can I remove this guy wire that has grown into the bark, without hurting the tree?

It’s otherwise very healthy and there’s continued growth. Very much obliged!

~Karen in Gilbert

EXPERT ANSWER

If the damage is minimal, maybe three or four inches of circumference of the trunk, go ahead and remove the wire as best you can.

  1. Cut the wire with a small wire cutting snip.
  2. Leave a small length of wire to grip using a regular pliers.
  3. Spray or brush some olive oil into the grooves created by the wire.
  4. Gently try to pull out the pieces of wire.

If the damage will be more severe, you might consider leaving the wire in place and let the cambium grow over the wire and fuse together again. But you still need to cut the wire to relieve the constriction and only leave the wire pieces or sections that are too deep in the furrows.

John Eisenhower of Integrity Tree Service.

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