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2147 Lummi Shore Rd. Bellingham, WA

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Do you still apply wound sealer to your freshly pruned branches? Not many know that this is already an outdated practice. It harms your tree’s long-term health and introduces dangerous chemicals into the environment.

Our experts at Timber Tree Service share some helpful tips on how to protect pruned branches naturally — no sealer needed.

Why Prune Your Trees in the First Place?

Pruning is essential for the health and appearance of your trees. It helps remove dead or diseased branches, clears crossing or rubbing limbs, and opens up the canopy to allow more light and air circulation.

Pruning also encourages new growth, which can help your trees become more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to storm damage.

The Downsides of Using Prune Sealer

Bellingham’s expert tree trimmers have seen it all when it comes to pruning. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes people make is using prune sealer on their newly cut branches.

Let’s go over why you should avoid using these products in general.

Encourage Tree Decay

When you cover the wound of your tree with a sealer, you’re essentially trapping moisture and sap inside. The wet, stagnant conditions are perfect for bacteria and fungi, which can lead to decay.

Prevent Natural Healing

Trees have a fantastic ability to heal themselves. When you cut them, they will start to produce callus tissue around the wound that protects them from disease and pests. When you artificially seal the pruned area, the tree can’t produce callus tissue quickly and will be more susceptible to infection.

Harm the Environment

Most prune sealers contain harmful chemicals like tar and asphalt, which can leach into the soil and contaminate groundwater. If you’re using a product that contains these ingredients, you could be doing lasting damage to the environment.

Cost You More Money

Trees that are properly pruned and cared for will live longer and be less expensive to maintain. If you use wound dressing on your trees, you’ll likely waste money on treating disease and decay.

The only time we recommend using them is when you’re pruning oak trees. This species is highly susceptible to oak wilt disease, which can quickly spread from open wounds.

Pruning Done Right

If you want to know how to protect pruned branches and encourage natural healing, these helpful tips from our arborists will get you on the right track:

  1. Using sharp, clean shears and saws is the first step to proper pruning. With well-maintained tools, you can prevent the spread of disease and make for a cleaner cut.
  2. Make sure it’s the right time to prune. Different trees have different pruning schedules, so it’s crucial to do your research before getting started.
  3. Prune away any dead, diseased, or damaged branches. These limbs can be a hazard to your property and passersby.
  4. Remove any crossing or rubbing branches. These can rub together and damage the bark, leaving the tree vulnerable to disease.
  5. Avoid topping your trees. Topping is when you cut off the main branches of a tree, which promotes weak growth and makes the tree more susceptible to storm damage.
  6. Make sure you cut at the right spot. When pruning, you want to make a flush cut just above the branch collar to encourage proper healing.
  7. Monitor your trees regularly. It’s always better to catch problems early before they cause any lasting damage.

Investing in premier tree pruning services will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run. Our experts at Timber Tree Service know how to protect pruned branches and will work with you to create a customized maintenance plan for your trees.

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