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How to repair cracked branch .

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by plumbroken, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. plumbroken

    plumbroken New Member

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    Heavy snow cracked three main branches on our Japanese plum tree .
    Picture attached .
    Can one be helped to heal by clamping with huge hose clamps ?
    Picture attached.
     
  2. Adkpk

    Adkpk Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Not a good idea. Sort of looks like a tourniquet to me. Prop it up with a board form the ground up. I guess you can't waste that branch?
     
  3. Ekka

    Ekka Diploma Horticulture + Diploma Arboriculture (Leve

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    We need a further back wider picture to see the deal on that branch and what it does.

    The cracks look bad ... I'd be cutting the darned thing off if it's not that important a branch.

    Look for some nodes to cut back to then manage that new growth ... but wait till winters over before doing the node cut. Perhaps cut a few feet away for now just so more tearing doesn't happen.
     
  4. jomoco

    jomoco Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Either hire an experienced reputable tree service with knowledge of proper cabling and bracing techniques or cut it back to a lateral branch or cut it all the way back to the main trunk.

    If you insist on attempting to repair it yourself, and are capable of doing it safely, buy a book on arboricultural cabling and bracing, then do the following after reading the book:

    Install a 1/4 inch cable with drop forged 1/2 inch galvanized eyebolts at each end, these eyebolts must be long enough to go all the way through both the broken branch and the main trunk of the tree with large galvinized washers and nuts in place at the termination points. The book will guide you on proper angles tools and tensioning of the cable to be installed.

    Install the cable 2/3rds of the way out on the broken branch, not at the break itself. Try to get the branch back to it's original position before it broke with cable tensioning.

    Once the cable has been successfully installed and the branch is back to it's original position, I suggest you rod the break itself with two 1/2 inch galvinized tree rods. Drill the holes for the rods with a 9/16 drill bit from the bottom of limb and exiting the top. The spacing between the two holes should be at 1/3 and 2/3rds the length of the fracture itself. Insert the rod sections in the holes place washers and nuts on both top and bottom of each rod and tighten slowly until it squeezes the fractured wood back together, then cut off excess rod with a hacksaw a 1/4 inch above the nuts, then use a hammer to mushroom the 1/4 inch of rod so the nuts can't work themselves loose and fall off.

    Oh, I almost forgot, the cambium or bark should be excised below each washer on the rods and eyebolts on the cable. Once your holes are drilled, place the rods or eyebolts through the holes, place your washers on the eyebolt or rod, slide it up against the bark and use a sharp carpetknife to gently cut a perfect circle around the washer, remove the washer and pry out the circle of bark and cambium tissue, then replace the washer and screw on the nuts etc. This process aids the tree in covering the washer and nut with new cambium and bark overtime.

    Obviously this is a somewhat complicated and time consuming process, and installing temporary simple rope to support the broken branch in the same spot the cable will go should be your first move to insure the branch is still there after you go through the expense and effort to save it.

    Read the book and be sure not to rely on the broken branch for any support whatsoever, use an A frame ladder or lift apparatus to safely position yourself to do the work.

    Your best bet is to hire an experienced professional to do it for you.

    I have successfully cabled and rodded breaks as bad or worse than yours many times, it's amazing how well these trees can recover from serious injuries with a little help from a proffessional tree surgeon.

    Good luck with your tree!

    Work Safe

    jomoco
     
  5. Kneejerk Bombas

    Kneejerk Bombas Tree Freak

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    You could just do nothing. Pretend it didn't happen. It's not like a human bone that can grow back together.
    It looks like the branch is small, but a large part of the tree. To remove it may leave a big hole in the canopy. What you may want to do is to reduce the tips of the branch a little each year, until the rest of the crown fills in. The crack probably won't kill the branch.
    If you prop it up, or cable it, you have to look at those supports forever. Just what you want to do, mow around a stupid 2x4 holding up your tree branch.
    Don't use the clamp.
     
  6. Treecareconcept

    Treecareconcept ArboristSite Lurker

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    Limb repair

    If the limb really needs to be saved Jomoco has some good advice. Print it out and follow it. Since this is an ornamental and not a large tree, danger from limb failure should be minimal.
    You probably won't be able to draw it all the way back together. You might want to consider shortening the limb to decrease the leverage put on it from the ice and snow.
    Never, ever clamp or tie any thing around limbs or trunks. (Unless of course you are trying to kill them.)
    Good luck
     
  7. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    I'm with Ekka on this one. that branch doesn't look cracked--it's splintered. We could talk about putting a splint on top and throughbolting to that, but rot will work its way down the tree from that damage no matter what.

    Fruit trees need regular pruning to avoid heavy ends and damage. Attend to the rest of the tree's needs, best done by hiring a professional to oversee all your trees' needs. there's a lot you can do yourself, IF you know what to do. And the internet is not the best way to find out.

    Re the clamp, if you cut your neck shaving, would you tightly clamp a bandage on your neck?

    jomoco, cutting out bark and cambium to countersink hardware is no longer recommended. Less decay if left intact.
     
  8. plumbroken

    plumbroken New Member

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    Re : broken plum tree branch .

    Thanks ever so much to everyone who replied.
    After the snow reduces I can get on with the repairs suggested .
    It would have to be during this busy Christmas season , ha .
    There are many suggestions , so I'll try to do the one family and I like best .
    Thanks again .
     
  9. Adkpk

    Adkpk Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Please, let us know how it goes. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
     
  10. plumbroken

    plumbroken New Member

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    My solution after all .

    Ha , Wild As Ever . I would do what you suggest but I have a 'tree hugger'
    better half . So the tree will stay up and I'll cutt off the split and cracked branches.
    Now we'll have a funny looking tree- ha ha and I can hope that it all rots and take it down later (with that excuse).The crotch of the main base is dirty and old , so Its' time is limited anyhow,I think .
    It had not been taken care of before we moved in and was hard for me to keep up. And it is old .

    Thanks to all , and Merry Christmas .
     
  11. treeseer

    treeseer Advocatus Pro Arbora

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    Better to know than think. A dirty old tree can be very sound. Get some professional help; call a certified arborist. Your Better half will :heart: you all the more.

    Happy New Year.
     
  12. Adkpk

    Adkpk Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You got it.:clap:
     

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