Wounds in the trees
Wounds in the trees
A wound in a tree can have different origins: a branch that breaks due to the wind or the overload of fruit, animals that bite the bark of the trunk; blows or cuts when pruning or grafting, or when using tools during garden maintenance you can also accidentally mark the bark, for example when passing the lawn mower or the brushcutter too close to the trunk.
The tree does not have the capacity to heal a wound, as happens with animals. In those situations, the tree reacts by generating a coating fillet, but its formation is very, very slow.
It is possible to help the tree but only if you act quickly, since a wound constitutes a gateway for numerous diseases, particularly those related to fungi.
Polypores are especially dangerous. They feed on lignin (present in the cell walls of plants) and nibble the wood inadvertently little by little until the tree dies. Occasionally a fungus with a ball, horse helmet or tray shape may appear on the trunk.
Scar tissue or paste
When you prune a branch or it breaks because of the wind or some other reason, an area of the internal tissues of the plant is exposed, which, having no protection, are susceptible to catching infections. The best way to help a tree to repair these wounds is to apply healing paste on them. It is a putty that protects the area from moisture and carries fungicide components that prevent the appearance of fungi. Putty should be applied over the entire surface of the wound, with a clean spatula and trying to leave it completely covered.
They are protective pastes composed exclusively of waxes and natural resins, without any other chemical products. It is applied surpassing the edge of the wound and works as a waterproofing, prevents the penetration of moisture and the proliferation of harmful fungi.
You can make protective sealers at home, some people use clay dissolved in water and cover it with the surface of the wound.
If the wound has been caused by the breaking of a branch, it is advisable to make a clean cut somewhat closer to the trunk about 5 or 6 cm from it. On the clean cut we can apply the protective sealer.
If a branch twists or bends but does not break, it can be straightened by tying it to a rigid ribbon, as if it were splinting a broken arm. Another possibility is to nail the batten on the ground and hold the branch in the correct position by tying it to it, if it is a heavy branch it is better to use an iron tube instead of wood.
Anyway, there are times when it's not worth saving a branch. If it is a branch without much importance in the silhouette of the tree, it can be cut to favor the growth of new shoots that rejuvenate the tree. Additionally, it is advisable to help the tree to produce new wood, with a contribution of fertilizer (at the end of winter and in spring) and without neglecting irrigation in summer.
Saul Saldana Jr
Triple S Tree