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Splicing a damaged branch.

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  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    Personally I think it would look better without the branch assuming it's the lowest one but do remove  those black bands on the trunk as they will cut into the bark as the tree grows. You have a good support so anything else is unnecessary.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,989
    Hello jerry.d-Wilkes, In the past I have had some success with snapped branches by gently straightening up again, then using wooden splints each side (lollypop sticks are good, depending on the length of the break) and tying them on reasonably tightly with some wide soft ribbon (or lengths of old tights). It's easier done with two people, one holding the branch in place, one doing the tying. Leave it all on for about six months or even up to a year.

    Your string ties at the moment will not be enough to support the branch in high winds but may help to keep the branch in the right position once you've done the above. The Soft Tie stuff is much better than string if you can get hold of some as it doesn't cut into the bark like string or wire.

    It will either work or won't, either way you've nothing to lose. 
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Hi Lizzie27,
    Thanks for the tips, but at the moment I am unable to get hold of ribbon, tights or soft tie (not even sure what that looks like). I may have to wait a few months to try this idea, but your suggestions sound good. 
  • K67,
    Good point, I hadn't thought of that. The bands are holding a 6' long bamboo stick which is stiffening the main stem (it arrived like that), but hopefully removing it won't cause it any problems. I'll cut it off today!
  • K67K67 Posts: 2,507
    That tie looks as if it might be a soft tie.
    Trees needs to move as this strengthens the tree and encourages the roots to spread.

  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,989
    @jerry.d-wilkes, speed is of the essence here so if you've no ribbon etc, then use whatever you've got, string will do if you bind it round and round. You need to try and close the wound as soon as possible before it starts to callous over and the tree repairs itself in the open position. If it does that, then it will always be vulnerable to snapping off as that will be its weak point. The process is the same as when you cut your hand, it heals quicker when held together with an Elastoplast.

    If it is bacterial canker as has been suggested (which I can't really tell from the photo), then the supplier should replace the tree for you.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Lizzie,
    It was damaged a few months ago, and appears to have dried out/ skinned over. It's not a canker. 
    As you see from my photos there is a big hole through the branch. 
    I assumed it might thicken out after a while, but if it wont ever do this and will always be weak, it sounds like I should just chop it off?
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,561
    Might be worth looking at bridge grafting. I don't think wax etc are recommended these days. 
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,989
    @jerry.d-wilkes , I hadn't realised the damage was caused some months ago and agree with others that it would be better to prune the branch off now. I suggest you start pruning from the top about 1/2 inch (the collar) away from the trunk. Before you get half way down, start pruning upwards on the underside of the branch and gradually meet in the middle - this avoids tearing the bark away from the trunk. Hopefully it should then just callus over and heal. Apologies if you know all this already!
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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