Hello Community - I recently acquired a hornbeam with two old sacrifice branch wounds which I believe need some action on my part to promote healing. The first is a stub at the top of the tree and the second is a wound which is cut flush to the trunk but not callusing. I research on the internet and find so much information on wound healing but not really finding anything that is giving me confidence on exactly what to do with this one right now. This tree has had a nice spring flush hardening off and I am ready to do some branch selection and wire out new growth. Left on my own i’d make the cuts at the top of the tree shown in red and wire out the new leader in blue. For the flush cut wound, I’d razor blade around the edges down to fresh cambium then paste the whole thing. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Cut it as you wish. However, hornbeam cuts never will heal over. What kind of hornbeam is it?
The basic concept is good! I would suggest a couple of tweaks.
- When making the new cut do not cut quite so close to the new apical leader. Leave a bit away from the leader, allow it to grow in.
- Make the cut and then carve it slightly concave, this will allow the callus to roll over smoothly with less of a protrusion.
- Make sure the cut paste is adhered to the outer edge near the cambium carefully to prevent desiccation.
- When wiring up the new leader make sure it breaks the plane from the previous movement . Is more interesting for style that way.
- When selecting the new apical leader consider the current thickness and how well it can be wired for development. Also as you get closer to the top of the design internode length on the new branch may be an important consideration.
Just some thoughts. When I check out your pictures I see an interesting smaller branch you are planning on removing and wonder if it might be a better choice than the one above. However, pictures can be very deceiving.
Great tips from Frank. I’ve had good results healing wounds like this on hornbeam. It just takes cutting back to live tissue and covering it all with paste/putty of some sort. Letting the branch above the wound grow helps too.
One thought about the apex - the “blue” branch looks straight and I don’t see buds down low (which isn’t necessarily a problem). Would it make sense to use the slightly smaller branch below it as the new apex? It’s young enough to bend and you have great buds nearby.