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Bad cut!

Hello I realised this morning that a cut I made the other day on the main stem of a new apple tree was too high above the bud.

So this morning I tried to correct it by cutting a bit lower down, close to the bud.

However my cutters obviously need replacing - the cut went badly wrong and I ended up with a really ragged cut that's torn the bark.

I'm concerned now obviously that this is going to lead to disease or fungal infection of some kind.

The sensible thing would be to make a fresh cut with some SHARP cutters below the level of damage. 

But that bud was meant to be the new leader for the tree. If I remove there are no other buds at the correct height to replace it.

Is there anything I can do to help the tree heal that damage without having to cut any more off?


East Yorkshire


  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,387


    East Yorkshire
  • OnopordumOnopordum Posts: 390

    There will be a bud at every node (leaf scar) even if it isn't obvious. Just make a fresh clean cut.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,653

    Trees and shrubs are best left to heal on their own so yes, sharp tools and a fresh cut one bud down.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,387


    using a sharp knife, ive removed the torn bark, so there's nowhere for water to collect and tried to smooth the whole thing a bit, again so water can run off.

    Is there a reasonable chance that a wound like that will heal?

    Im reluctant to cut down lower because there aren't any other buds - the tree arrived with stumps already cut at the nodes, rather than fresh buds at this height.

    there are buds on the main stem much lower down but that's really far down near the graft.

    East Yorkshire
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,700

    Laguna343, I can see another bud to the right side. In my opinion, that is not too far down. You have another 2 buds after that. I don't think it is worth risking to keep a tear like that. It's a young tree, so less likely to fend for itself should there be a fungal infection. As you said, using a very sharp smooth edge knife, make a fast clean cut at a slant if you can't wait for repairing your secatuers.

  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 2,387

    Well I took your advice. Cleaned up and tried to sharpen secateurs. They still weren't cutting it very well, tendency to crush the stem, or mangle the bark. Did a few practice cuts and managed to get one that's a lot cleaner near to the next bud down. Still don't think it was a perfect cut but it looks a lot better than what was there.

    think I definitely need to invest in a new pair of cutters.

    I'll leave the poor plant alone now for a while before I kill the thing!

    East Yorkshire
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