Ringing. - If the strip of cortical tissues and cambium is removed all round the stem, exposing the wood in a form of a ring, complications may ensue owing to the following circumstances. A well-marked callus appears at the upper edge of the wound, because, the transpiration current up the young wood not being stopped, plenty of water and salts from the soil can reach the leaves; but the nutritive materials supplied by the latter are accumulated at the upper lip of the wound owing to the stoppage there of their descent in the phloem, cortex, etc. No such callus-lip appears at the lower margin of the wound owing to want of these supplies. Consequently the occlusion and healing of the ring-wound only takes place from above downwards, and if the ring of cortical tissues removed is a broad one, the healing may be a long process, or may even be indefinitely delayed, a thicker and thicker callus projecting over from above. For similar reasons no annual wood layers are formed below, but only above the wound, and thus the branch or tree may die. The latter contingency is the more likely the further up the tree the ringing takes place, owing to the risk of drying up which threatens the exposed wood, and to the consequent interruption of the transpiration current, and the likelihood that lateral shoots below the wound may divert the water to their own leaves. If the ringing occurs low down on a stem, and the environment remains damp, the upper thick callus may put out new roots; the part above the wound then behaves like a cutting. If the ringing is done on a young and vigorous branch of an old tree, the lower lip may receive supplies from the leaves of branches below the wound, or from shoots which spring from adventitious buds close to it, and the wound may heal over normally. Such healing may be rendered more certain by keeping the wounded surface moist - e.g. by means of damp moss, and so encouraging the formation of callus-bridges from the medullary rays.
If on ringing a tree or a branch the young wood is removed as well as the cambium and cortical layers, the death of the parts above the wound is almost certain, owing to the stoppage of the transpiration current: the exceptions to this rule depend simply on the existence of other channels of communication, such as internal phloems, very thick sap-wood, and so forth.