this reader question comes from beautiful Massachusetts.
I pruned two 3″ limbs off my October Glory Maple and am afraid I cut them too flush to the trunk and cut into the branch collar. I planted the tree about 4 years ago and it’s a very important and symbolic tree for us, so I am concerned improper cuts could open the tree up to disease. Any suggestions on what I should do to help minimize that risk? Most internet opinions say tree sealers do more harm than good. Tree is others is great shape. Looks healthy, has grown to maybe 25-30 feet, great shape. Thanks for your help!
Thanks for your question!
“If you’ve made severe cuts, the best thing to do is watch and wait. Definitely *don’t* use any “sealant” – whereas we humans may do well to slather a cut with anti- microbial ointment and cover it with a bandage, this is decidedly not helpful to a tree. Applying paint or tar or other dressings and fillers – while a great temptation to tree lovers everywhere – actually interferes with the normal progression of a tree’s wound response and should be avoided. Trees need to self-seal and close, and generally they do this much better without additives.
Thus, best practice going forward will to keep a sharp eye on the tree and play it by ear. If you develop concerns, see unusual or unseasonal dieback, or crown thinning, seek a consultation from an ISA-certified arborist in your neighborhood – you can find one here: http://www.isa-arbor.
Submit it here and get an answer via email!