branch removal - Knowledgebase Question

Massapequa, Ne
Avatar for iwharper55
Question by iwharper55
October 11, 2010
I plan on cutting some branches from a tree.The diameter of the branches range from 2-5 inches.Do i have to tar over the stubs,and if so is there a tree tar or do I use regular tar? Thank you.

Answer from NGA
October 11, 2010
We never recommend using wound dressings on trees. It can actually retard the natural healing process and harm the tree. When you prune a branch, the tree compartmentalizes and seals off the wound. Once this happens on the inside of the cut, the bark begins to grow over the wound, essentially covering it up. Wound dressings are tar-like and will inhibit the natural healing process. It becomes a physical barrier and the bark won't grow over it because it is a foreign substance. Instead of dressing the wounds, make your pruning cuts correctly and allow the tree to heal over them naturally. The best way to prune large branches or limbs is to make 3 cuts. This will help avoid stripping bark from the trunk. Make the first cut into the underside of the limb about 6 inches beyond the bark collar, utting 1/4 to 1/3 upward through the limb. Make the second cut from the top downward several inches farther out than the first cut, cutting until the branch breaks away. With the weight of the branch removed, a third cut removes the stub. The branch collar is the swollen area where the branch is attached. You'll want to cut the branch flush with the collar, without leaving a stub. Best wishes with your pruning project!

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