Better way to protect tree prunings and premote healing

This last pruning season I had to remove this very low branch on this peach tree of a friend of mine. I had used wood glue on fresh cut pruning’s that my son wanted for wood working to help cure the wood so that it wouldn’t check (crack). I liked how it worked quickly to seal and how durable it was so I thought I’d try it on large pruning cuts just to keep the wood from cracking and letting in insect critters. I was surprised at how well it helped the wound to heal over. I’ll never go back to using black tar like goo again. I used Gorilla wood glue on this cut.

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Something else that I forgot to add. This last season when doing the last of my grafting I hit on an idea that works great. It’s to paint the top of the scion cutting with hard as nails fingernail polish to seal the scion from drying out. I’ve had parafilm crack on me when I used it for this purpose and it is difficult to wrap without damaging the top buds on the scion. The nail polish takes just a couple of minutes to dry and can be done before grafting or after grafting. I use it also for cuttings that I’m trying to root.


Gorilla glue looks promising. Just wondering how well it would last on a big cut that takes 2-3 years to heal.

I’d be concerned that it would damage the scion but if you had success with it then it’s a good idea.

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I tried buddy tape instead of parafilm this year on some grafts and can say it seems like it is even thinner, but it did not crack for at least 3 months, some lasted 5 months. Also brand name parafilm sheets seem not to crack easily.

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In my opinion parafilm works the best for scions but I haven’t used buddy tape. My interest in gorilla glue was for larger limb removal protection.

Yes, the glue looks like a good idea.

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I was under the impression that research has conclusively show that any kind of pruning sealant is unnecessary and may cause more harm than good (by trapping moisture). When I do a Google search for academic sources and “tree sealant” they all strongly advise against it:

Do not apply wound dressings to pruning cuts. In the past it was a standard practice to seal pruning cuts with wound dressings or paints. It was thought that wound dressings would keep water, insects, and decay-causing microorganisms from entering the wound. It was also believed that wound dressings would encourage healing of the wound. However, scientific research has found that wound dressings actually inhibit or delay the healing of wounds, don’t keep out water and insects, and may provide a more favorable environment for decay-causing microorganisms. The best way to insure rapid healing of pruning cuts is to make proper cuts with sharp tools.

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Whether or not glue/sealant is a good idea or not I will leave to others to discuss.

But Gorilla glue is polyurethane. It is not UV resistant. Just like the spray foam cans of the same stuff (if you ever have gotten gorilla glue wet you’ve seen it foam just like the can foam), it will deteriorate exposed to the sun over time. Not sure about the glue, but the foams seem to last a few years, at least here in my climate. Breaking down in the sun may not be a bad thing either as far as grafts or a pruning sealant go, in that it will eventually flake off.

I don’t know but I’m sure time will tell.

[quote=“dimitri_7a, post:8, topic:17658”] I
was under the impression that research has conclusively show that any kind of pruning sealant is unnecessary and may cause more harm than good (by trapping moisture). When I do a Google search for academic sources and “tree sealant” they all strongly advise against it:

I’m sure this research is quite correct, BUT…
What about LARGE cuts say 4" or larger? I know, avoid these if possible. Large cuts can take years to heal over so they have long term exposure to fungal infection. I see many large limbs and trunks of apple trees rotted out. I know a bit about CODIT, but it obviously has limitations. Since all but the sapwood is essentially dead wood in a living tree, (or, in another way of stating it: of the wood in a tree, only the sapwood contains living cells), there is little the tree itself can do to protect it.
So, what I would like to know is is there a benign fungicide that can be used to treat the wood in this situation to prevent rot?

By “benign”, I mean does no harm to the tree or environment - just to fungi.

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In my area, the PNW, I see a lot of trees (apple, cherry, maple, etc.) with their centers rotted out. For many, it seems to have started with the removal of a large limb (anything over an inch?) and eventually, over the years, to have gone on throughout the main trunk.
I know that trees have some self-defense against the spread of rot. By the way there are two interesting booklets on the “control of decay in trees” (CODIT) that were published years ago. Fantastic illustrations and photos. I believe that spalted wood is one result of this.
Back to rotting. I don’t see how any coating can actually seal a cut since a tree continues growing and would soon break the seal of any non-expanding sealing material. Plus the effects of Sun and weather.
My question is: Does any one know of a relatively benign fungicide that could be periodically painted on cut surface? I realize “benign” is a contradictory term to use for anything with a name ending in “-icide”, but just as strong vinegar is an herbicide, some reasonable fungicides must be available??? I want to discourage rot over a period of years (repeated applications) without discouraging growth.