Damaged trunk on plum

Hey people, today I had time to control my trees and look how they’re doing and I found something on my Hermann Plum.

This on picture 1 is old damage. While mowing my father caught the trunk with a wheel. It has at least for 5 years looked like this. But today I found something new, that I didn’t see when I pruned in December.

It looks like the bark above the old wound is dying too, all the way up the trunk. In one place I could lift away the bark and the wood underneath looks very dark and obviously weather-hardened…So my question is: Should I take away all the loose bark so the wood underneath can dry out and doesn’t harbour animals and diseases? Should I seal the ‘new’ edges of the bark?
Should I pry away the old spongy wood of the old wound or let it be? My instinct tells me to let it be…

Otherwise the tree is quite healthy and I will let him stand anyway until he dies or gets much worser. We never got many fruit but I always hope on next year. :grin:

Update: Today I peeled away all the old loose bark and it seems that the edges of the bark that still have contact with the wood have healed themselves a long time ago and the useless bark got loose.
I could peel away the old bark and the wood underneath looked mostly dry. Higher up where the wound got more narrow it was wet and there was some kind of dust as if an animal had been eating bark. There were some very little insects as well but I don’t think they hurt the tree.

On this picture one can see very well that the healthy bark walled itself off against the dying bark

Here you can see the wet part of the wound. I have to admit that I didn’t like this at all when I first saw it but now I hope that it will simply dry out and that the wood underneath is not affected.

I have to admit I was surprised how clean the whole thing looks now, compared to before. I mean, it’s not perfect but I’m very happy that I didn’t have to hurt the tree to take the loose bark away. In some places I cut a little bit to deep so I put a little bit of wound closure cream(?) on it.


Is this on the south side of the tree? If so looks like some winter damage. Sometimes warm sun in winter can start sap flowing in this one strip, which then can freeze and kill the tissue.

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Yes, it is on the south side. I didn’t think of that because I was so focused on the old wound but you could be right. But do you think the tree has even had time to heal itself? I mean the walling off against the dead tissue looks quite thick…How fast does this happen?

Pretty crazy how this happens. I’m guessing that damage is at least 1 maybe 2 years old.

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Fascinating to think that the tree does things like this and no one notices for two years!
The more I think about your explanation the more it makes sense to me.