Long time lurker, first time poster...
Anyway we have a very big Laurel tree in our garden 30 ft or so, during
the recent wet snow, two of the very big side branches seems to have
dropped, though maybe one is pulling the other down. I cant see an
actual split in the branch, not been able to get a close look yet. It
all feels very wet though, I am wondering it it is rotten inside.
If I need to saw it off how should i protect the freshly sawn wood?
Is there anything else I should be aware of when doing this job.
This one goes around a lot.
I think the latest consensus is you don't have to treat wounds
Whether you actually have to remove the branch I don't think we can tell
from here. I would not expect to feel "wet" and determine it's rotten
from the wet feel.
I would wait until spring before removing any winter damage. You will
want to see what is really dead or broken, which you cannot really do
right now. Also, if there is a temporary warming in the weather,
cutting now will promote new growth that will then be damaged by late
I do seal large cuts on trees and shrubs. On my roses, I seal any cut
that is larger in diameter than a drinking straw. AVOID ANY TAR-BASED
PRUNING PAIN. I use white glue (e.g., Elmer's, Wilhold, GluBird). On
some plants, this is necessary to prevent insects from burrowing into
Where I live, burrowing wasps are a special problem with roses. A small
wasp burrows about 2 inches down into a cut rose branch, packs the
tunnel with gnats and other small insects, and then lays an egg. The
larva eats the insects, matures, and then flies out of the tunnel. In
the meantime, as deep as the wasp makes its tunnel, the rose branch
seems to die back that much farther. A dab of white glue on the cut
prevents wasps from burrowing. I use white glue not only during my
annual winter pruning, but also during the growing season when I cut
away dead flowers.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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