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Cuts on trees that are larger than a 2-euro piece should be treated with tree wax or another wound closure agent after the pruning - this was at least a few years ago the common doctrine. The wound closure usually consists of synthetic waxes or resins. It is applied immediately after the pruning with a brush or spatula and is intended to prevent fungi and other harmful organisms from infecting the open wooden body and causing rot. Therefore, some of these preparations also contain appropriate fungicides.
Faulstellen despite tree wax
Meanwhile, however, there are more and more arborists who doubt the meaning of a wound closure agent. Observations in public green have shown that the treated cuts are often infested with rot, despite tree wax. The explanation for this is that wound closure usually loses its elasticity and crack within a few years. Moisture can then penetrate from the outside into the covered cut wound via these fine cracks and last for a very long time - an ideal medium for microorganisms. Also, the fungicides contained in the wound seal volatilize with the years or become ineffective.
An untreated incision is only apparently vulnerable to the fungal spores and the weather, because the trees have developed their own defense mechanisms to withstand such threats. However, the effect of the natural defenses is unnecessarily weakened by covering the wound with tree wax. In addition, an open cut surface rarely remains moist for a long time, as it can dry off very quickly in good weather.
To accelerate wound healing, the frayed edges of the wound are smoothed with a sharp knife
Arborists tend to restrict themselves to the following measures when treating larger cuts:
- They flatten the frayed bark at the edge of the cut with a sharp knife, as the dividing tissue (cambium) can then more quickly cover the exposed wood.
- You only apply a wound sealant to the outer edge of the wound. In this way, they prevent the delicate dividing tissue from drying on the surface, thus also accelerating wound healing.
Busy street trees often have large bark damage. In such cases, tree wax is no longer used. Instead, all loose bark pieces are cut off and the wound is then carefully covered with a black foil. If this happens so quickly that the surface is not dried, chances are good that so-called surface callus forms. This is the name given to a special wound tissue that grows directly on the wood body over a large area and, with a bit of luck, can heal the wound within a few years.
Many fruit growers prefer complete wound closure
Somewhat different than in professional tree care, the situation in fruit growing is there. Especially with pome fruit such as apple and pear, many professionals still pass the larger incisions completely. There are two main reasons for this: On the one hand, fruit tree trimming in pome fruit orchards is usually done during periods of low labor in the winter months. The trees are then in hibernation and can not respond to injuries as quickly as in summer. On the other hand, the cuts are relatively small due to the regular cut and also heal rather quickly, because the dividing tissue grows very quickly with apples and pears.