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.


Anyone who really cares about their trees knows how hard it is to find a good tree trimmer. I’ve used both major name brands, and self employed tree trimmers, and have never been very satisfied, until now. ArborWorks trimmed my trees as carefully as I would have, if I knew how to climb trees!Don McIntyre, owner, responded within two days of my call, and his estimate was fair and thorough. He personally brought the foreman of the crew to my site to go over the job the evening before the crew would actually arrive. Don also visits the site as the work is performed, to make sure everything goes smoothly.If my trees could vocalize, they’d sing about the space created for light to enter the crown, and how good it feels to have the weight off the ends of the limbs. Even neighbors have come by to complement me on how good the trees look. “Best ever”.I only wish I had known about ArborWorks sooner. It took me 32 years to find them. I hope my trees will forgive me for taking so long…
Karen K. Mountain View, CA


Arborworks Inc. Diamond Certified