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What to do when a branch breaks off a tree?
Last updated: 02 April 2021
Tree branches are prone to breaking and falling off trees during high winds and or storms.
If large branches are hanging or broken, the best thing to do is contact a professional arborist. These professionals will have the knowledge and equipment to remove or repair the branches if possible. The branch will need to be removed, and the jagged break will need to be cut clean so the tree can heal.
If you can handle the job on your own, make sure you stay cautious not to injure yourself and cause more problems.
Repairing a broken tree branch
If a tree branch breaks after a storm, due to fallen power lines or any other physical cause, it will stay alive for a long time as long as it remains attached to the trunk or main limb. However, the wound may offer an easy opening for decay agents such as fungi and bacteria to enter the tree.
If the branch is still attached to the tree, you should repair it immediately to increase its survival chances. In case the amount of wood still attached to the tree is thin, the chances of survival for that branch are low. More so, if the exposed tissue dries out, fusing the wood back to the main limb may not be possible. For this reason, it is essential to act fast and repair the branch as soon as it breaks.
Repairing a small branch
If the branch is small, you can wrap it using grafting tape to hold it to the limb. After a few months, the wood will join together as long as the tree cambium and the inner bark layer of the broken branch are in good contact.
Repairing a larger branch
For a larger branch, you will need more than grafting tape because the tape may not support the branch’s weight. You can try to sandwich the branch and the tree with twine and support the branch from below using a crutch. You can also tie it to a bigger branch above it to stabilize it. This will help to keep the cambium and the broken branch in good contact.
After several months, you should remove the grafting materials to allow the treetop to grow without any restrictions.
Should I use a tree service?
Yes, you should call a tree service in case you cannot handle the job alone. Whether you want to prune the tree or repair a broken branch, an arborist will handle the job professionally and increase the tree’s chances of survival.
The easiest way to find a professional fast is by using Go Tree Quotes, which is a FREE service. This service quickly matches you to the best three tree professionals voted number one by previous clients.
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Broken tree limb repair cost
Tree limb repair cost depends on the size of the tree. The average cost to repair or remove a limb is about $90 coming in between $35 to $250. If the limbs are huge, this cost can be a lot higher. A professional arborist should handle this project because he/she is more experienced and knowledgeable.
How do you stormproof a tree?
No matter how strong your tree seems to be, extreme weather and non-stop rain can weaken its roots, and even permanently damage them. Lightning strikes can kill a tree within minutes. There are, however, several ways you can keep the trees strong. These include:
Keeping the trees strong and healthy. This is the first step to storm-proofing a tree. A healthy tree can withstand extreme weather conditions. So make sure the tree gets enough water and nutrients and prune it regularly to make it stronger. This should be done when the tree is still young.
Trim regularly. Regular and corrective tree pruning is essential to allow the tree to grow stronger. It also boosts the tree’s structure and shapes the tree to become more weather resistant.
Protect the roots. Although roots are below the ground, they may cause a tree to fall if their structural integrity is compromised. So, try to keep them as strong as possible and avoid construction or excavation near the tree. Strengthening the root trees should be done from an early age of the tree.
Protect the trunk. Besides roots and branches, you should also protect the tree’s trunk. If you are expecting a storm soon, you can wrap the tree using protective materials such as burlap and row cover. These materials will protect the trees from flying materials that may wound it. After the storm, you can remove the cover.
How often should trees be trimmed?
Trimming or pruning trees makes them stronger and more appealing. How often you should trim a tree depends on its age, size, type, and health. Generally, mature trees are trimmed after 3-5 years while younger trees are trimmed after every 2-3 years. You should trim fruit trees every year while some evergreen trees may take years without any pruning
What do you paint on trees after cutting branches?
After cutting a tree branch, you can decide to cover-up the wound using a wound pruning sealer. You can buy this sealer online, or DIY your own. Pruning sealers are also known as pruning paint or wound paint. This product is available online, and it comprises thick liquids. Most people claim that this sealer promotes the healing of the trees immediately after pruning.
Other people think using a sealer is a bad idea as it may seal in moisture and decay agents already present and inhibit the tree’s natural healing process.
Should you seal a tree branch after cutting?
In most cases, it is better to leave the tree to heal on its own. This may take one to two years, depending on the age, size, and type of tree. Environmental factors may also affect the healing rate of the tree.
Trees compartmentalize the wounds with cell layers to localize the problem and prevent the damage from spreading. This also prevents decay organisms from entering.
However, if you prune your trees during summer, you may need to use wound paint because this time is not ideal for trimming. Winter is the perfect season for pruning because most trees are dormant, and growth is usually minimal. This means that the risk of infection is also minimal.
Not necessarily. One wrong cut will not kill a tree, but pruning incorrectly for an extended time will kill it. If the tree is injured due to incorrect pruning for a long time, decay fungi could infect the tree and spread further, eventually killing the tree.
As long as some part of the canopy remains after pruning, the tree will not die immediately. Trees can die after a long time due to associated stress from pruning and infections.
Yes, you can use a handyman to cut a tree but only if the tree is smaller than 15 feet. Tree cutting is dangerous, and the bigger the tree, the riskier it is to cut it. For this reason, you should hire an arborist to fell a tree that is bigger than 15 feet. Arborists are more experienced and will know how to handle larger trees better, and minimize damages on the property if the tree is near covered structures.
When properly pruned, tree branches will not grow back because the cut area is not designed to grow back after cutting. However, a new branch may develop, which is why you should be careful when pruning.
Trees usually grow something that looks like callus over the cut site, preventing decay fungi and infectious agents from entering. This protects the tree from decay and infectious agents.
Author: Ben McInerney – Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.
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