This may or may not come as a surprise to you, but the sun can actually cause harm to trees. As with humans, it is vital for their survival, but similarly to how we can get sunburned, the trees on this earth can get something called “sunscald”. And just like a truly severe sunburn can lead to skin cancer, sunscald can also permanently damage a tree’s health, and even lead to an earlier demise.

The Basics Of Sunscald

During the summer months and snow and sun filled winter months, a tree can be exposed to too much sunlight which can lead to damage to the leaves, fruit, and even the bark itself. When experts are talking about the worst-case scenario, Arborist in Bay Area is talking about the actual scalding of the tree’s bark.

While a not too severe sunscald will only lead to aesthetical imperfections, it can quickly take a turn for the worst with exposed inner tissue surrounded by dead bark. A fissure deep enough to reach the cambium layer, which is responsible for producing the bark, will most likely mean damage beyond repair. The trees most at risk of sunscald are the ones with the thinnest bark, which unfortunately includes all young trees.

The Consequences Of Sunscald

Beyond the aesthetics, a sunscald can lead to the loss of the protective layer of bark which means direct exposure to all organisms – many of which are seeking to infest the tree. Among these organisms are bacteria and insects, as well as fungi. An infestation by any of these organisms will first lead to decay beyond repair, and potentially also an early demise of a previously fully healthy tree.

Learning To Prevent Sunscald

As the owner of the property the tree is growing on, you have two major ways of protecting your tree from sunscald: by preventing over-pruning, and by shielding your tree from excessive sunlight exposure through the use of material wraps, or white paint. The latter of which is less frequently used due to the permanence of paint.

It starts as you are purchasing the tree, at which point you will need to ensure that the tree you are planning to plant is actually adaptable to the climate you live in. Additionally, it will also need to be planted properly so the roots can spread and grow as needed, and receive the nourishment necessary to sustain itself. That is why consulting with a tree care service before you actually plant the trees helps. They will advice you about the type of trees that you need to plant on your property based on the climate, soil type and the current landscaping.


We hired Arborworks to remove 10 trees at our new house. There was a small overgrown forest going on. I don’t think anyone ever trimmed anything in this yard! Not only did they remove the trees and ground the stumps, they also took out our other items we had cut down ourselves.The biggest tree was almost three stories, you could see it towering over the house from the front and we have a two story house. Could not believe how efficiently they cut down that monster tree. Their guy who was in the tree – WOW he made it look easy but I know that it wasn’t! Knew what limbs to cut and where the limbs were going to fall. Was very impressed! We were there when they took all the trees out and I can tell you they definitely know what they are doing. They asked if we wanted the chips/mulch from the stump grinder otherwise they would have taken it away.I would hire them again in a heart beat and I’ve already recommended them! Great prices and GREAT service.
George R. Palo Alto, CAPalo Alto, CA


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