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Conifers/Pruning tall pine,spruce trees

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Question
I have a pine tree that I need to remove lower branches from to maintain access to my well. Also have several Spruces that I'd like to trim. Do I need to seal cuts @ main trunk?? If so what do I use. Appreciate any input. Joe

Answer
No you will not need wound dressing. Pine exude sap that will seal the wound. In fact dressing can slow the healing process so is nit recommended.

When you make the pruning cuts on the limbs do not cut them flush with the trunk but you should see a slight swelling about a 1/8 inch from the trunk cut just beyond this swelling. This is called the branch collar and the wound will heal faster if it is left.

To remove large branches, three or four cuts will be necessary to avoid tearing the bark. Make the first cut on the underside of the branch about 18 inches from the trunk. Undercut one-third to one-half way through the branch. Make the second cut an inch further out on the branch; cut until the branch breaks free.


Before making the final cut severing a branch from the main stem, identify the branch collar. The branch collar grows from the stem tissue around the base of the branch. Make pruning cuts so that only branch tissue (wood on the branch side of the collar) is removed. Be careful to prune just beyond the branch collar, but DONíT leave a stub. If the branch collar is left intact after pruning, the wound will seal more effectively and stem tissue probably will not decay.

The third cut may be made by cutting down through the branch, severing it. If, during removal, there is a possibility of tearing the bark on the branch underside, make an undercut first and then saw through the branch.

Do not use any wound dressing type paint on the wound the tree will heal faster without this.  

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Jim Hyland

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Registered Forester in the Southern US with 30 years experiance in managing pines. Expert in pine forest health from management to control of pests to ID of species.

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