This tree is damaged; but how?
Perhaps you’ve noticed damage to trees like this when you’ve been out walking in the park.
Here, the bark has been stripped from the trunk, but you might also notice damage to branches too. If you thought this looks as though the trees been chewed, you’d be right.
What has caused the damage to the tree?
The damage is caused by dogs.
This problem has increased over the past few years, particularly in London. There is a small minority of dog owners who allow their dogs to hang from low branches, claw and chew bark. They encourage this to strengthen their jaws. We’ve seen the increase of such damage to trees at the same time as the popularity for ‘status’ or ‘weapon’ dogs, although this practice is not limited to just these types of dogs.
As the dogs chew the bark or hang from branches they are damaging the living part of the tree beneath. This can result in killing the connection between the roots and the crown of the tree. The wounds that occur are susceptible to disease and decay, which can cause the death of the tree.