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Have you experienced that too? You just want to saw off a bothering branch quickly, but before you cut it all the way, it breaks off and tears a long strip of bark out of the healthy trunk. These wounds are ideal fungal spots and often lead to rot. Especially sensitive, slow-growing trees and shrubs such as the witch hazel recover from such damage only very slowly. To avoid accidents of this kind when pruning, you should always saw off large branches in several steps.
Step by step: expertly removing a branch
First cut the branch from below to about the middle (left), then slightly inwards or outwards from the top (right)
In order to reduce the weight of the long branch, it is first sawn in about one to two inches from the trunk from below. When you reach about the middle of the branch, put the saw on the top a few inches inside or outside of the bottom cut and saw until the branch breaks off.
After the branch has been sawn through from top to center, it breaks off cleanly (left). Then the stump is separated on Astring
The leverage forces ensure that the last bark connections in the middle of both sides of the branches break off neatly when breaking off. What remains is a small handy branch stump and there are no lacerations in the tree bark. Now you can saw off the stump safely and cleanly on the trunk's thickened astring. It is best to use a special branch saw with an adjustable blade. When sawing, support the stump with one hand so that it is separated cleanly and does not bend downwards.
Aftercare of the cut
Using a sharp knife, flatten the corrugated bark (left) and wipe the edge of the wound with a wound sealant (right) to prevent the bark tissue from drying
The smoother the cut surface is and the closer it is to the astring, the better the wound heals. Since the wood itself can not form new tissue, the cut surface of the adjacent bark fabric (cambium) is ring-shaped over time. This process can take several years, depending on the size of the wound. You promote wound healing by smoothing the edge of the bark tissue with a sharp knife, so that no dried-up bark fibers remain behind.
Previously, it was common practice to completely seal the incisions with a wound closure agent (tree wax) to prevent fungal infections. However, recent experience in professional tree care has shown that this is rather counterproductive. Over time, the wound closures cracks, in which the moisture collects - an ideal breeding ground for wood-destroying fungi. In addition, the tree has its own defense mechanisms to protect the open wooden body from infection. Nowadays, only the edge of the wound is passed, so that the injured bark does not dry out.