In storm-damaged trees, remove all broken branches and reshape the tree as well as possible at the particular time. Try to encourage new branch development in areas with broken branches. Broken trunks, split crotches or cracked limbs often are mended by restoring the damaged part to its original position and holding it there permanently. Consult professional arborists to install screw rods or cables in trees where this work is necessary.

For a year or more after a tree has been struck by lightning, it is often difficult to determine the extent of damage since much of the injury may be internal. Trees that seem badly damaged may live while others apparently only mildly injured may die. If the tree can be saved, remove all shattered parts and damaged limbs, then smooth and paint exposed wood.

Injuries to trees that expose the wood or kill the bark may allow insects or disease organisms to enter the tree. Proper treatment protects the tree and promotes faster healing. Few trees reach maturity without receiving one or more wounds from a variety of sources. Yet trees have survived for centuries to become the oldest living creatures on earth despite wounding. Some recent work has involved dissecting trees in an effort to understand how they compartmentalize and close an injury. Trees do not heal in the true sense of the word. Injured tree tissue is never repaired and returned to the former state as is a cut on a person’s hand. Trees react by closing the wound and compartmentalizing or isolating the injured tissue from the surrounding tissue. During compartmentalization enclosure, contents from the injured cells leak onto the uninjured surface where they oxidize and form a barrier to prevent further infection. Then the most recently laid down wood is altered as is the tissue around the injury. This is accompanied by discoloration, the extent of which depends on the kind of tree, the vigor, kind of wound, location of the wound and the time of wounding. New growth rings are laid down the following spring and new tissue begins to grow over the injured tissue. Over a period of time, the new tissue closes the wound.

Homeowners can help the plant compartmentalize the damage more rapidly than it does in nature. If bark has been crushed or stripped from the trunk, remove the injured bark, shape the wound. Cut away all damaged bark and remove isolated scraps from the wound area. For fastest healing, shape the edge of the wound, as nearly as possible, to an elongated ellipse. If this shape cannot be obtained, shape the top and bottom of the wounded area so they come to a point, even if the wound must be enlarged slightly. Remove all splintered wood and smooth the surface of the exposed area with a chisel.

Some true injuries result in cavities or hollows within the main trunk or large branch of a tree. For many years’ gardeners have tried to fill these cavities with bricks, concrete and other materials in an effort to seal the cavity from rain, insects and diseases. Armed with the knowledge of the plant’s ability to compartmentalize any wound it is not recommended to fill tree cavities. If water does not drain easily out of the cavity, many arborists will recommend trimming the cavity opening so that water can drain out. If this is not possible, a weep hole may be drilled into the bottom of the cavity to allow water to drain freely. Other than these actions, simply keeping the cavity clean of debris and leaves is all that is recommended.


Much has been written recently about the need for a new human vaccine for the coronavirus. Vaccines for several costly diseases of cattle have been in use for some time. Cattle owners need to remind themselves the vaccines they buy will be at their utmost effectiveness when first purchased.

A vaccine can cost over $3.00 per dose, and if not stored properly that vaccine can be rendered ineffective. Producers cannot afford to overlook the importance of how they store vaccines and handle them prior to injection.

Biological products should be stored under refrigeration at 35⁰ to 45⁰F unless the nature of the product makes storing at a different temperature advisable (APHIS 2007). If vaccines are not stored within this temperature range, efficacy to the calf can and will be reduced. Killed vaccines are especially susceptible to freezing temperatures. Freezing a killed vaccine will alter the adjuvant or delivery system of a killed vaccine. This, in turn, negatively affects the immune response to the antigen in the vaccine.

Modified live viruses (MLV) are more stable but can be in-activated if they are repeatedly cycled above or below the required temperature range (Gunn et al, 2013). Also, once activated by mixing, MLV’s effective life will be reduced to 1-2 hours and need to be maintained at the 35⁰ to 45⁰ F. This can be accomplished by only mixing the doses that you will use at that time and use a cooler to maintain temperature while working cattle.

Researchers from the University of Arkansas and Idaho analyzed the consistency of temperatures for different types, ages and locations of refrigerators over a 48-hour period. They found only 26.7% and 34.0% of refrigerators were within the acceptable temperature limit 95% of the time, respectfully.

Refrigerator location can also affect temperature. Refrigerators located in barns (35.6 ⁰F) were colder than in mud rooms (41.72 ⁰F) and kitchens (40.82 ⁰F). (Troxel and Barham 2009). Temperature within a 24-hour period can also be highly variable for individual refrigerators. Troxel and Barham (2009) demonstrated some refrigerators may take up to 8 hours to cool down to the 45⁰F, while others will remain too cold varying from 24.8⁰F to 35.6⁰F.

Producers need to be aware of these variations in temperature, so they are able to adjust refrigerator temperature as needed. Thermostats can also be very variable from unit to unit, so keeping a thermometer inside works well to monitor and to make adjustments as needed. A simple digital thermometer can be purchased at one of the box stores for about $10. They can be placed on a shelf inside the refrigerator and easily read each time the door is opened.

For more precise monitoring of the temperature, indoor-outdoor thermometers work well to achieve this goal. The outdoor unit can be placed in the refrigerator while the LCD display can be hung with a magnet on the door. This allows temperature to be monitored without opening the door and many models will record the high and the low temperature in a 24-hour period so producers can adjust accordingly.