What To Do With Damaged Trees?

Linda Bittle
Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Building Projects

As I've been working around the back lot where my fruit trees are planted, I've found a couple of maple trees that have old chains wrapped around and grown into the trunks. We're talking trees that have grown completely around the chain. One is near the base of the tree, and the other is around a smaller limb that is about 2/3 of the height of the tree. Another maple has grown into and around a chain link fence.

They mostly seem to be still healthy, put on a lot of leaves in the spring, which have now mostly fallen.

Should I try to cut the chain to allow the trees to expand? Should I try to remove the chain from the tree? Or is it best to just leave them alone?


  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I would try to cut some links in the chain and let the chain fall or not on its own.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    If the trees have grown all the way around and basically engulfed the chains, then leave them be - the trees have apparently dealt with the problem since they are still healthy and growing. For the fence, cut it where the tree has not grown into it yet but leave the rest be. If you try to open where the chains are you will weaken the trunk and possibly cause more harm (and open wounds) than good...

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,516 admin

    I agree with @chimboodle04. Cut off the excess and leave what has grown in. I have seen many old trees that, once upon a time, were used as a living fence post. They have grown around the wires or chains and still appear healthy.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you! I was kind of leaning towards not trying to remove the chains entirely. They are the thinner dog chains, I think, and I can get some help to cut off the parts still hanging from my landlord.