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broken branch errors

Posted by tdogdad Zone 9 (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 19, 12 at 0:01

I have run across several people who had a branch broken off and then just planted it in the ground, leaves and inflos and all. Anytime a branch is broken, I always remove all leaves and inflos as soon as possible. Leaves and inflos require water to progress and a broken branch is cut off from the root system so the water will be taken from the branch which causes it to shrivel or often shocks the plant system so it becomes difficult to root. The stored water which is used to root is pulled away by the leaves and inflos. The sooner you strip the branch, the more water is available to root the cutting. Keep this in mind next time a branch breaks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: broken branch errors

I might also add to Bill's excellent advice is to cut the broken branch straight across before trying to root. On the tree part, I would suggest cutting that at an angle to keep water from nesting and possibly causing rot or seal this cut and I believe Bill recommends Dap.

Joan


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RE: broken branch errors

Great advise!!!

Thanks guys!!! : )

Laura


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RE: broken branch errors

If you receive a cutting that is cut on the slant, would you all recommend recutting it straight across even if it has already callused over?


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RE: broken branch errors

Moonie_57,
that is a tough question. It all depends on the condition of the cutting. If it is not shriveled, I would cut it square and dry it again. If it is shriveled badly, I would not cut it again. It most likely will not survive because it has allready lost a lot of liquids (evaporation from the skin) and will loose a lot more from cutting it again and drying it all over. I would plant shriveled cuttings and after they have rooted well and have many leafs and have recovered, I would cut it again square and root it. Remember, angle cut cuttings only develop roots at the tip and are not desirable. The attach picture shows how angle cut cuttings develop roots. I hope this answers your question.
George


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RE: broken branch errors

Wow! Every time I check this forum, I learn something. Great posts, I would never have known about angle cuts & to have visual proof. You guys are amazing!


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RE: broken branch errors

Kathy, no kidding! You can't swing a dead cat* around here without hitting some great tidbit of information.

I'd always thought that the angled cut gave you more surface area to develop roots until I read George's article. Thank you guys, for your contributions!

*I am a cat lover. Please don't email me; it's just a weird expression.


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RE: broken branch errors

Speaking of the devil; I just received this rooted plant I bought online from a reputable nursery. Guess what. It is a rooted angled-cut cutting with roots only at the tip (see attached picture). These guys will never learn. I am just going to plant it and come springtime I am going to cut it square and replant it. It makes no sense to keep it like this and end up with a not so vigorous plumeria.
George


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RE: broken branch errors

George that is one wild looking cutting there! Like a lopsided haircut.

Ok, I admit I sometimes just stuff the broken branch down in the soil, usually I let it dry out a bit first. In my experience, here in the hot humid south, the leaves will fall off in a few days anyway. Never really paid much attention to the base, I will be cutting them straight across after reading from George.

Tally HO!


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RE: broken branch errors

If I remember correctly, *rare occurence*, roots grow from the cambium layer. So I have just a couple of questions.....

Why would roots grow only from the tip of an angled cut when the cambium layer is exposed, even if it is on the slant? (did that make sense? :)

What would be your chances of scarring the other side in hopes of getting more root?

And, do roots ALWAYS grow only from the tip of an angled cut?

When you say "not so vigorous plumeria", can you give some examples? And again, is this ALWAYS the case, that the plumeria will grow with less zeal?

Can anyone give any details on their healthy plumeria of which you know was started as a cutting cut on the slant?

I'm asking because I have one that was cut that way. LOL

For those of you with many plumerias it might be very easy to basically start over with the cutting, but for those of us just getting going in the plumeria world, it's harder. Perhaps a necessity??, but still not easy.


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RE: broken branch errors

That's a very good question, why do the roots only grow from the end of the slant cut?

I have one plumeria I know that was grown from a cutting cut on a slant it's planted in the yard somewhere. Must not be anything outstanding about it since I don't remember which one it is.

Tally HO!


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RE: broken branch errors

Lots of good information here. I broke a branch when I sort of sat on mine, but now I have two plumerias.

Here is a link that might be useful: Broken branch on plumeria


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RE: broken branch errors

Just one more thing about angle cuts... when a cutting is grafted, how does the angle cut play into that scenario?


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RE: broken branch errors

Hi Moonie_57,
too many questions. I do not know where to begin. lol
Plumerias are really different and do all kinds of strange things. This is why I love to study them. For some reason all the plant energy goes to the tip. That is why roots only develop at the tip. Not only that, they never develop roots to fill most of the cambium line that has no roots. The picture below shows a 3-year old angle-cut plumeria that proofs this.


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RE: broken branch errors

Why does plant energy goes to the tip. I do not know. Here is more prove that it does. The step cut plumeria cutting in the picture below develop vigorous roots at the bottom half but few roots at the offset higher other half.


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RE: broken branch errors

And yes, plumerias from angle-cut cuttings have about a third of the amount of roots that square cut plumerias have. As a result, they have much less vigor.

Can we scar the other side to make it make more roots? Not really. But we can make more roots with a complex cut. I have never said square cuts make the most bottom roots for plumerias. Square cuts are better than angle cuts but they are not the best cuts. Currently I am experimenting with complex cuts that make about twice as many roots as square cuts (see attached picture). Just be patient. An article will be written soon.
George


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RE: broken branch errors

Moonie_57,
grafting is a different ball game. It has its own problems and strange behaviour.
With respect to rooting though, grafts if left wrapped in plastic for a while, they do develop roots in mid-air. And guess what. They only develop roots at the tip only! See picture below.


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RE: broken branch errors

Thanks so much, George, but I have to bother you with yet another question. :)

A few posts back, I asked if you would recommend re-cutting an angled cut after it was already callused over. I read your response. Thanks. But, I was asking for future reference because the cutting I was referring to has already been rooted.

But now, I'm wondering if I should pull that cutting and square cut it? It has put out several leaves. The thought kills me but I don't see the sense in going forward with a tree at a disadvantage.

The photo with the step cut... is that an ordinary practice or one of your complex cuts you will be writing about?

I like the graft photo. How odd it is that the roots only develop at the tip. As if gravity plays a part in it. :)

Sorry for the ramblings!


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RE: broken branch errors

Hi Moonie_57,
since you have already planted the cutting, I would wait till next spring. The cutting will grow taller by then. Come sprintime, I would take a cutting from the plant and leave at least 1-2" above the soil line behind. Then root the cutting. The leftout will grow and it is your insurance against loosing the plant if your cutting rots.

With respect to the step cut cutting, no it is not common to cut cuttings like this. This was a designed experiment to prove the plant energy goes to the tip.
George


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RE: broken branch errors

the step cut is a common cut used in some graftings. It can be held in place a bit easier than the common 45 degree cut which wants to slide unless properly secured,or the V cut which is difficult to match the cuts. I know some people who have put a screw through the two parts sideways and had a successful graft.


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RE: broken branch errors

Hi tdogdad,
the step cut is not a very common grafting cut. I do not know of any proffesional that uses it. The most common grafting cut is the angle cut (or slanted cut). It makes the strongest connection and the smallest grafting scar. The step cut moves out of position very easily (by a growing callus) and makes a large grafting scar and a relatively weak joint. Both the scion and the rootstock can bend at the horizontal cuts (there is nothing to prevent that). The wrap or screws hold the vertical part together only. I never use the step cut in grafting plumerias.
George


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RE: broken branch errors

Hi George,
I have a large cutting that is cut at an angle.
Now I wonder if I should start over? Cut it straight and let it dry for a few days? We are still in winter here so I don't think it has started to root yet.
I have used a saw to peel the outer skin down to the hardwood. That was done straight across.
What would you recommend?

Here is a link that might be useful: My large cutting


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RE: broken branch errors

Hi MrFrangi,
I thought everything is big in Texas. Wow, that's what I call a tree not a cutting. lol.
Since it is still dormant and in good shape, I would cut it square. Use a brush to put some rooting hormone at the bottom cut. The key to rooting such a big cutting is to callus the bottom well to keep it from rotting when you plant it. You can callus it in mulch or perlite, but you got to make sure the medium is semi-dry (moist but not too wet). Where you have the cutting it is exposed to the weather and the bottom of the medium can get wet. Wet medium will cause the cutting end to rot. I would move the cutting to a protected location (under a patio cover, inside the garage, etc). I would put the end of the cutting in a semi-dry medium. The cutting can be in a horizontal position. Here is a picture of a well-callused cutting. A cutting that is callused like this never rots when planted.
Good luck,
George


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