Learn / Ask The Landscape Professional
Many tree branches broke off during the big storm and my father told me to get tree wound paint and put it on the wounds. Is that good advice?
No, it's not good advice. Back in your father's
day, it was common to paint tree wounds, but
more recent research has shown that tree wound
paint actually hurts a tree. Paint cuts off the oxygen
supply to the damaged area and creates a perfect
environment for disease micro-organisms. When
damage occurs, tree branch damage and wounds
need to be properly pruned and trimmed to allow
the tree the best chance to repair itself. Many people
mistakenly cut a damaged branch back flush with
the main stem, this in turn creates a larger area for
decay. Leave the collar of wood that exists at the
base of the branch and make a clean, smooth cut.
Also, larger tree wounds often have ragged pieces of
torn bark showing. You should take a sharp knife and
cut the bark back to where it's solidly attached and
create an oval shape (see picture). Trees do not "heal", but rather they "seal" themselves
by a process called "compartmentalization" where new wood gradually grows around
the damaged wood (see picture). Eventually this callus tissue will completely cover the
damage. Not only do trees protect themselves from the outside, there is a process inside in
the tree that sets up chemical boundaries to protect the tree from decay organisms.
Sprigs & Twigs, Inc has a licensed arborist and offers a complete range of Tree Care
Services: storm damage recovery, tree pruning, tree fertilization, tree removal, cabling
and stump grinding. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.