Fir Trees – Wire embedded in trunks

Q: My neighbor’s backyard has a steep hill which was planted with fir trees. The builder used wire supports on the trees. He decided to remove the supports, but they are embedded in the trunks. He’s thinking of using a circular saw to free them. I know that’s not right but what should he do?

A: DO NOT use a saw to free the wire! The water-conductive tubes under the bark have been constricted as the tree trunks expanded. If he uses a saw, the tubes will be cut entirely. The top of the trees will likely be a bit slower to grow, and more likely to break at the wire inclusion, but they will definitely be hurt more severely by cutting the wire free. The only thing to do now is to clip the wire where it emerges from the trunk and let the trees deal with the problem as they are able.

One inch wide nylon strap is the only material that should be used to guy a tree. Never use wire, even wire enclosed in water hose. Always remove guying material within a year of installation.

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