Tree Limb Questions

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  #1  
Old 10-21-06, 07:43 AM
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Tree Limb Questions

I removed a limb from a tree in my front yard, because it was 1/2 dead from constantly getting hit by passing trucks. The tree is a Royalty Flowering Crab, and the limb was about 2" in diameter. The stub end sticks out about 2" from the main trunk. Here's my questions:

Now that the limb has been removed, is there anything I can or have to do to the stub end of the limb? Should I dress it with something, or just leave it exposed? Will it heal on its own?

I'm concerned with disease or other possible problems entering the freshly cut open end. Thanks in advance.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-21-06, 09:06 AM
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Location: Maryland zone 7
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Hi Sutter,

The best time to prune crabapple is early summer due to loss of flowers, but that isn't a concern for you. I would NOT recommend you cover the cut end with anything. It often becomes a site for insects and diseases to hide.
http://www.orchardsedge.com/qa.jsp?category=Fruit+and+Nut+Bearing+Trees+and+Plants#74

The best thing you can do is prune to the collar so the tree can heal itself. Take a look here at 'Pruning cuts'.
http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_prune/prun001.htm

Newt
 
  #3  
Old 10-21-06, 09:19 AM
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Old school of thought was to cover the cut, current thought is to leave it alone and let it heal on it's own.
 
  #4  
Old 10-22-06, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: united states
Posts: 98
stub city

Having been in the business in both the "old school" and the "new school" eras I can tell you that, as it is in many aspects of the green and growing world, there are often many different ways to reach the same objective.

Fundamentally you want to make it as easy as possible for your tree to heal its' wound. Meaning the farther out the stub protrudes the longer it will take for the tree to grow around it and seal up the wound. The longer that raw wood is exposed to rain and weather the more opportunity for rot and decay to set in.

If you look carefully at any limb where it branches off from a tree trunk there will be a tiny but visable ridge at the junction of the limb and trunk. You should trim your stub very close to that ridge but no farther. This will allow the most rapid healing of the wound.

Now as to the desireability of tree wound dressing.. there is some logical support for the practice. Real tree wound dressing is an asphalt based paint either sprayed or brushed on. It would seem that the water shedding ability of that product without inhibiting air transfer would be desireable to help prevent decay of the exposed wood surface. Frankly the tree pruning industry might be behind this move away from using any tree wound dressing as it is a very time consuming (read that cost increasing) process to apply to every limb that they cut.

A properly trimmed pruning cut will heal in a surprisingly short time. You'll have to make your own decision about the tree wound dressing but at a minimum it wouldn't hurt and a small spray can of it doesn't cost much.

Best of luck with your tree, 38 years in the business and still learning...Greensboro_man
 
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