Dwarf Japanese Maple - Crack where branch meets trunk.

peterw99November 10, 2012

Hello. I just noticed that my Dwarf Japanese Maple has a substantial crack in one of the main branches where it meets the trunk. I've attached a photo, and was hoping that some wonderful tree loving soul could offer some advice on how I can save this branch that amounts to 1/3 of the tree. If I lose this branch, the tree would be irreparably lopsided. Please help! Other than this crack, that branch seems to be healthy and happy. The tree is all of 3 feet tall, and is probably about 3 1/2 years old. I suspect that this crack has been there for some time. Would a small bolt with a few washers be the answer?

Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.


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I once had a shrub that split. I tried wrapping the two sides of the branch on either side of the split tightly together with a material that wouldn't cut into the bark. Eventually, the two sides of the split grew back together. I would avoid putting any bolts into the tree.
You might post your question on the Trees forum in hopes that an arborist might see it.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 5:44PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'll also post this in the Trees forum.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Bolting or cabling is very common to salvage split branching or to prevent against further damage. There were multiple discussions on this topic here a couple of seasons ago after a heavy, wet snowfall and a lot of damage to weeping laceleaf maples (which tend to accumulate and hold snow in their branches).

Do a Google search on "tree bolting or cabling" - you'll find various resources and videos showing you precisely how to do so. Contrary to what many think, if a split branch or fork is not immediately addressed (within 24-36 hours), the tree begins to compartmentalize amd seal off the injury and if that happens, the split will never grow back together and will remain a structural weakness and liable to further damage.

IMO, cabling or bolting in this situation is the ONLY way to go.

Here is a link that might be useful: cabling a tree

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:29PM
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