ice damage

club_mario(z7ny/LI)February 15, 2007

During yesterdays ice storm here on Long Island a large limb cracked off of my locust tree right onto the small coral bark maple below. The maple now consists of only its trunk -- about 2" diameter and stands now about 4ft. I evened out the jagged break on the top. There are a few gashes in the side. I know this doesn't look too promising but are there any steps to take that would possibly save it? Thanks!

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myersphcf(z6a IL)

As long as it has "trunk" above the graft ( if it's still 4 ft. no problema) or sufficient trunk it not grafted I'd bet it will probably survive... a 4 ft tall 2" diameter tree has some age to it IMHI making it more likely send out new buds and branches...make sure to cut off any suckering if that happens at ground level ( don't know whether it will Jm's don't tend to sucker but denuded JM's well ???? ) My guess is that it will survive albiet lousy lookin for a few years but with a bit of trimming and care you may have a descent tree in a couple of years ...David

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 2:11PM
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Thanks for your reply.
In the mean time, is there any thing I should do to the open wounds? I have usually avoided using pruning seal. The open parts aren't running sap and there is no danger of insects at this time of year. Should I just leave it as it is? Linda

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 5:28PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

My instict is yes seal it, no leave as is ;>)...sealing has sort of grown out of favor...but if the wounds are big you might want to seal them case the spring starts them bleeding or more likely bugs start a gnawing or disease enters the picture ...I'm on the fence ..if it was just a wound I'd say NO but as brutilized as the tree was /is I might be inclined to seal just to be on the safe side will quite likely be more prone to infestation or disease in it's present state unlike a healthy tree with just one or a couple of wounds after writing this out I think I'd vote to seal and go against conventional wisdom or folk lore you choose ...better be safe than sorry and I don't think it will hurt ..David

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 10:20PM
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Here a couple of things you can to to help your tree: first, remove the broken parts. Next, you should do a bit of very preliminary "tree surgery." If the broken top of this tree is ragged and split, find a place where the trunk is sound and unsplit and cut off everything above that point. Then do nothing for several months.

By mid or late summer you will know where and how this is going to sprout new growth. At that point you can trim off any remaining dead wood from the broken top, which you said is about 2" in diameter, right? Try to find a place just above (maybe 3/8ths of an inch above) the last living bit of the trunk and/or sprout and make a nice smooth cut with some kind of fine saw that will not tear up the edges of the wood.

Next, you should let the cut top of the trunk alone--don't treat it with anything--until it has dried out for several months. Then, perhaps by March of next year, I would treat the cut surface at the top of the trunk with a mixture of water and liquid copper fungicide. If you use the little search box and search all the forums, you will find my posts where I explain in detail how to use this copper fungicide. But in brief, you get Bonnide or Dragon (there may be other brands) liquid copper fungicide (not Bordeaux mixture) and mix one part fungicide with three parts water (a very strong solution) and paint it on to the surface with a brush. Just enough to soak in a bit--don't over do it. Then refresh it once every year. The tree wound sealants I am familiar with will probably do more harm than good--they can seal in moisture, making a better environment for fungal diseases to grow, but they don't really seal out those pathogens effectively. The copper fungicide I recommend does not seal in any moisture, but the copper involved is a long lasting and stable fungicide that will keep any spores that land on your little tree from infecting it.

If you have any questions after searching my prior explanations of how to use copper fungicide, please ask me.

As for the scrapes on the trunk below where it is broken, I doubt they need any treatment at all unless they are more than half an inch wide. If they are so wide, then they should be allowed to dry out for about 4 months or so and just given a touch of the copper fungicide I recommend above.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 10:12AM
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