Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tree Torture and Murder

By Anton Antonio
November 25, 2015

“Girdling” refers to the process of peeling off the bark of a tree trunk to prevent nutrients from circulating inside the tree.  “Girdling, also called ring barking or ring-barking is the complete removal of a strip of bark (consisting of cork cambium, phloem, cambium and sometimes going into the xylem) from around the entire circumference of either a branch or trunk of a woody plant.  Girdling results in the death of the area above the girdle over time.  A branch completely girdled will fail and when the main trunk of a tree is girdled, the entire tree will die, if it cannot regrow from above to bridge the wound.  Among the causes of girdling are human practices, including forestry, horticulture, and vandalism.  Foresters use the practice of gridling to thin forests.  Gridling can also be caused by herbivorous mammals feeding on plant barks and by birds and insects, both of which can effectively girdle a tree by boring rows of adjacent holes.  Orchardists use girdling as a cultural technique to yield larger fruit or set fruits, often called cincturing (meaning: the act of encircling) used in agriculture.  Only the layer just under the bark is removed for this technique.” (Wikipedia)

Girdling is an acceptable practice in agriculture and horticulture aimed at enhancing productivity especially with fruit-bearing trees… but never intended to kill trees unnecessarily.  This practice, however, becomes evil when the entire length of the tree’s trunk is girdled which will most certainly lead to the death of the tree. 

How can this practice be useful and advantageous to anyone?  In some instances, the practice is used for selfish reasons.  Please consider the following situation.  Let’s take the case of a land and infrastructure developer who wants clear trees from his construction site.  The biggest hindrance to his plans will be environmental groups who will, most certainly, oppose the tree clearing plan.  This developer will now resort to girdling to systematically kill the trees that obstruct his plans.  After the trees eventually die, it will now be easy for him to get a cutting permit from the government’s forestry agency because the trees are dead anyway. 

This scenario may sound fictitious or even preposterous to some but this has been happening here and all over the world.  Under this given condition, girdling now simply becomes nothing more than tree torture and murder.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2015).  “Girdling”. Retrieved on November 25, 2015 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girdling

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