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Thread: Arborist question

  1. #1
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    Arborist question

    I had to cut down the 10" center trunk of a multitrunked River Birch tree. How should the remaining stump be treated, if at all?

  2. #2
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    Some would recommend painting it over with a product like Wound Seal.

    Search > wound sealant for trees < There are also those who recommend against this.

    It may depend on what kind of critters or diseases may be likely to attack the stump.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 09-09-2023 at 4:06 PM. Reason: added an a
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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    To kill, preserve from rotting or to keep it alive?
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    To kill, preserve from rotting or to keep it alive?
    Bill D
    To keep it from rotting.

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    To prevent rot I would just drip the green or brown wood preservative on the top and let it soak down all the into the roots. This may kill nearby vegetation.
    Bill D

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    He said it was a multi-trunk tree so I'd be concerned the preservative would kill the remainder of the tree.
    I thought that painting over cuts with some treatment had been shown to be ineffective but as was pointed out above, there are differing opinions.

  7. #7
    Applying wound sealant has been mostly discouraged for years unless there is a specific deterrent for bugs and diseases. Trees heal on their own. I skimmed through my Cass Turnbull book on Guide to Pruning and I see no mention of applying sealant after any cuts. She was the founder of Plant Amnesty and had a truly amazing sense of humor when writing her books. Her passing at a young age was a great loss to the horticulture community.
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, thatís not going to happen."

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    I think the long-term outlook for the other two trunks is bleak, no matter what's done to the stump. It might buy a few years to apply something waterproof but not too toxic.

  9. #9
    Who cares if a dead tree rots ? No need to worry about the dead . I would fertilize and water ,and hope for recovery. Learned that from
    the TV doctor shows . Yes , Iím not as brash as ďBen CasyĒ Ö..but Iíve kept up with the commercial science updates !

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat Evans View Post
    I had to cut down the 10" center trunk of a multitrunked River Birch tree. How should the remaining stump be treated, if at all?
    Pat, I had one trunk of a multi trunk river birch cut several years ago. I did nothing to the it and saw no ill effects. Just one case I know.

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    I would make sure the cut is angled so as to not let water sit on the stump, then give it a heavy coat of an asphalt based tree wound paint. You don't want to encourage the stump to rot and affect the adjacent root system.
    NOW you tell me...

  12. #12
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    Depends on the tree from what I understand. Pear tree I was told to do nothing even though it broke below ground level. Tree is fine 2 years later. Im not sure of Birch

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Anderson View Post
    I would make sure the cut is angled so as to not let water sit on the stump, then give it a heavy coat of an asphalt based tree wound paint. You don't want to encourage the stump to rot and affect the adjacent root system.
    ^^ This!!! It's really important to discourage rot in this kind of situation.

    As an asdie, I have two big river birches behind my shop building...one is a three trunker and one is a four trunker. Messy trees, but beautiful. Out ground stays pretty damp so the river birch and a bunch of willow varieties enjoy a good life in our yard and the neighbor behind us.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    ^^ This!!! It's really important to discourage rot in this kind of situation.

    As an asdie, I have two big river birches behind my shop building...one is a three trunker and one is a four trunker. Messy trees, but beautiful. Out ground stays pretty damp so the river birch and a bunch of willow varieties enjoy a good life in our yard and the neighbor behind us.
    "Messy" is a gross understatement. I hate the trees, but SWMBO won't let me cut them down. While most current literature indicates not to use sealer, they mostly refer to healthy trees that have been pruned. This was a dead trunk. I'm going with the recommendation to seal the trunk and hopefully, slow rot from affecting the other trunks. Thanks for the responses.

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