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Thread: I cut a low hanging limb off

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    6,377

    I cut a low hanging limb off

    of an oak tree. Do I need to coat the cut on the tree? If so, what should I coat it with?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    24
    I have cut about 40 of those in the last week (storms here) and I didn't coat any of them with anything.

    TX A&M guidelines for tree wound care

    "Research indicates that wound dressings (materials such as tar or paint) do not prevent decay and may even interfere with wound closure. Wound dressings can have the following detrimental effects:

    • Prevent drying and encourage fungal growth
    • Interfere with formation of wound wood or callus tissue
    • Inhibit compartmentalization
    • Possibly serve as a food source for pathogens

    For these reasons, applying wound dressings is not recommended. Trees, like many organisms, have their own mechanisms to deter the spread of decay organisms, insects and disease."

    When I graft a tree I DO cover the area with melted beeswax. But big cuts in a healthy tree- no paint not tars - works for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
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    14,953
    Lowell, do not use a pruning sealer when you cut tree branches. Sealers can trap moisture that can cause decay. Trees will naturally seal off wounds after pruning.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Page View Post
    Lowell, do not use a pruning sealer when you cut tree branches. Sealers can trap moisture that can cause decay. Trees will naturally seal off wounds after pruning.
    That is not quite true with oak trees in Texas, where there is commonly the oak wilt. In fact, this is not a good time to trim them at all. Fall and early winter is preferable.

    See https://preservationtree.com/blog/wh...ak-wilt-season

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
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    Devon and Bruce are correct and so is Doug. Normally you do not want to use wound dressing on cut branches for the reasons stated. IMO, trimming oak trees in the wrong season would be the one exception to that rule. Better a little local rot than oak wilt. But you have to do it immediately after trimming, while the wound is still fresh and before the beetles find it. Here in Michigan the no-trim window is April 15 to July 15. Different in Texas. https://preservationtree.com/blog/wh...ak-wilt-season That article also states it is ok to trim dead branches under 2" any time. Most hardware stores carry spray on would dressing. The one on my shelf is Spectricide Pruning Seal. I have an oak tree that needed some low branches removed late summer.
    NOW you tell me...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Southwestern Penna.
    Posts
    321
    Here in Pa. it's against the law to trim oak trees this time of year because of the wilt disease.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    Devon and Bruce are correct and so is Doug. Normally you do not want to use wound dressing on cut branches for the reasons stated. IMO, trimming oak trees in the wrong season would be the one exception to that rule. Better a little local rot than oak wilt. But you have to do it immediately after trimming, while the wound is still fresh and before the beetles find it. Here in Michigan the no-trim window is April 15 to July 15. Different in Texas. https://preservationtree.com/blog/wh...ak-wilt-season That article also states it is ok to trim dead branches under 2" any time. Most hardware stores carry spray on would dressing. The one on my shelf is Spectricide Pruning Seal. I have an oak tree that needed some low branches removed late summer.
    It's amazing how efficient insects are at finding their hosts. You can plant a Dutchman's Pipe vine and the appropriate butterflies will find it, even though there are no other such for miles around. Monarchs will find the milkweed. The Gulf Fritillary will find the passion vine. Nature is in control. (But not always, I just wish we had more bees.)

    So, in that context, I would be concerned about pruning oak trees in the season of their ruinous pests, no matter what else you do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    6,377
    It was a dead branch that I cut off close to the trunk. I have done it before without issue.

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