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I've got what I think is a cedar tree in my backyard that is missing most of its bark on one side from the ground to about 4' up. (Thanks to my puppy who is a shredding machine.) The branches next to the bare area of the trunk are slowly turning brown and dying. Is there any way to revive the tree and minimize the damage? Should I prune off branches that appear to be mostly dead?

Also, on the topic of preventative action: Are there products that successfully keep animals (dogs in my case) away from trees and shrubs?

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up vote 17 down vote accepted

Are there products that successfully keep animals (dogs in my case) away from trees and shrubs?

Tree tubes can protect trees. They're mostly aimed at protecting young saplings from deer.

Protective schemes to protect more mature trees from beavers can be more extreme.

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Yes you see them a lot in deer areas. A puppy will grow out of damaging tendencies quite quickly, so the OP's problem may have gone away now. However, cheaper alternatives @Alex's carpet sounds like a good if unsightly idea. A small makeshift 'fence' of narrow stakes wrapped around the trunk would work as well. All could be removed in 12 months time. – winwaed Jul 26 '11 at 2:34
The second link in your answer is dead :( – ᴉʞuǝ Apr 20 at 2:00

Depending on how its root structure is doing, you may be out of luck. It is late in the season to be pruning trees back. For now, protect the tree (tie a bit of carpet around it at the heights the dog can get to) and keep it well watered.

As for keeping the dog away, you might ask on the pet website, but for a dog you own, you will need to do on-the-spot training. Let him go for the tree, then explain that it is YOUR property and he is not allowed near it. Do this a few dozen times...

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Bridge grafting may be the technique you're looking for. This method uses smaller stems to bridge the gap, allowing sap to flow across.

Tree saved from girdling by bridge grafting

Image credit found here, with directions on how to use this technique.

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