Cambium Layer Definition

Question from Y:

What is the cambian layer? Is that the outer bark? And, there is also growing on most olive trees, suckers around the base, does that mean that that tree has been compromised as in your teaching dialogue?

Answer from Pat:

The Cambium layer on a tree is not the outer bark. The cambian layer is the actively growing part of a tree that is found under the outer bark. It lies between the bark and the inner wood core of the tree. The outer bark is a dead layer that protects plants from injury and the environment, but the cambium is a live layer of tissue and as it grows it creates tree rings. It also carries nutrients and its cells actively multiply. The cambian layer also heals trees since it tries to grow over wounds to cover them and protect the core of the tree from rotting out.

Many trees naturally sprout suckers from the base. This is not a sign that the tree has been “compromised”. Often it is a sign of a very resilient, strong type of tree, difficult to eradicate, since if cut down it will sprout again from the roots. Ficus, pepper trees, willows, some fruit trees and others do this. I’m sorry I don’t understand what you mean by “compromised”. Do you mean damaged or wounded? Please explain what you mean by this part of your question: “Does that mean the tree has been compromised as in your teaching dialogue?” Please explain your question including “your teaching dialogue” more clearly. Thank you.

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