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How should I seal a big cut in a tree?

 
pioneer
Posts: 97
Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 8b
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Hi there,

What would be the permie-approved way to "seal up" a large wound in a tree?

So the best way I can describe it is if you imagine a mitten, finger tips up, the dead main trunk would be the finger pocket (diameter-wise) and the live branch would be the thumb. I cut off the dead trunk an inch above the living branch so now there is a large wound in my tree, especially in reference to the size of the new "trunk". What can I do to give this tree a chance?

Thanks as always!



Gee whiz info:

The tree is an odd one for my environment, either an alder or an aspen I believe. It's in such bad shape its hard to tell... (I need a plant/tree ID book!) It kinda has a "weepy" look as well.

The branch that is alive seems to be doing ok! It had grown up and over the dead trunk (about 5 or 6 feet high) and almost mad it look healthy!
 
gardener
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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The old-school approach was to seal things off with paint or other products specifically created for trees.  Today, people advise that you do nothing.  Trim it clean but then leave it alone.  

If you seal it, you're most likely sealing fungal spores into the wound.  They will eventually colonize the wood and it'll be a pathway into the tree.  But if you leave it exposed, the hope is that the tree will grow around the wound and seal it off.  Depending upon the size of the wound, that may or may not happen.  But either way, arborists recommend that you not paint anything over the wound to seal it.
 
Posts: 14
Location: West Virginia
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I've also heard that leaving it exposed is the best measure.

That hasn't kept me from wondering about whether a coating of honey might have a positive impact, but I haven't really done my research.

For identifying trees, I've been really impressed with the Android app PlantNet. I have found it to be pretty reliable.
 
Dan Fish
pioneer
Posts: 97
Location: Sierra Nevada Foothills, Zone 8b
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OK, thanks! I will leave it alone.

Also, thanks for the app recommendation! I'll check it out.
 
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Location: Richwood, West Virginia
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I had success using the wax from a toilet seal when the main stem of my bare-root sycamore quit. First I removed the dead finger sized growth and then I applied roach powder which Wiki tells me kills fungus and then daubed on the wax. Two years later it had grown shut.
 
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