The Q&A Archives: broken tree limb

Question: I just recently planted a 5-6ft coral bark japanese maple, and a branch coming off one of the leader branch broke. This happened right at the base of the branch. Should I give it a fresh cut or tie it together in hopes that it will grow back together. ( is that even possible?) If I should cut it is there anything I should apply to the cut to enhance its healing? I love this tree and would like to protect our investment in it. Thank You. ..... concerned tree owner

Answer: I don't think the branch will mend itself so the kindest thing to do is make a clean cut (ragged edges can encourage insect and disease problems). A clean cut will callous over and your tree will make up for the lost branch by sprouting a new one nearby. Coral bark maples can take lots of hard pruning so you won't hurt your tree by making a clean cut. Next winter, when the tree is dormant, you can do some pruning to give it a more symmetrical shade if it appears lopsided.

Best wishes with your new maple!

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