In the past, I have always sealed cuts with a bees wax based pruning sealer. Primarily, I work with Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) and Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga Menziesii). Cut sites heal nicely and I have no complaints.
A couple days ago I pruned a few big branches off of one of my Western Red Cedars. I sealed all cut sites… except one.
So, should I play it safe and seal that wound as I always do? Or should I live dangerously and see what happens by letting nature take its course?
I don’t think the trees health will be negatively impacted by not sealing the wound. And I’m curious to see if the wound heals differently than the ones I have sealed.
Do you do shari work on your cedars? Could come out cool. Leave it uncovered if you’re moving in that direction.
Or if you’re not concerned about water and sap loss through the wound.
From what I’ve read, the best cut pastes contain gibberellic acid, which promotes rapid cell growth. Older wounds may need to be pared back to living tissue, and possibly be sterilized with isopropyl before being sealed.
I read a book, so that makes me an expert, right?
Even after four days, I would seal the wound. The live edges will heal better. Any cut larger than your little finger… Your beeswax would do OK.
The (playdough type) Cut paste if you have it. The hormone cutpaste is usually for decideous trees…
I have used beeswax compounds to seal medium cut wounds. Mine was a looser mixture with bee propolis. Supposed to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Seemed to do OK.
Only issue I saw was that it softened in high heat… and ran down the trunk, leaving a mostly permenant stain. Took years to dissipate. Still have the little can of it. Does yours have a terpintine smell? I would lean to not using that type of compound. Regular beeswax would be to hard to use as a seal compound.
I worked on several plicata ceaders years ago. Never could get them to behave. They are now out in my garden, 20 feet tall.
I have never heard of using isopropyl alcohol to sterilize a tree cut. Probably not… Use it to sterilize your tools between trees instead. Keeps fungus and bacteria from transfering between trees.
I was convinced that I would follow through with my just-leave-it-and-see-what-happens experiment but I read your post and chickened out. I love this tree. I’m not taking any chances.
I’m using a product called Green Earth Pruning Sealer. The label says it contains ‘Natural Beeswax,’ but there is no mention of other ingredients. It does not smell like turpentine. I didn’t take note of the smell before but since you asked…it smells like beeswax. It’s nice.
Stay low, move fast.
There is a huge section of shari on the trunk of this tree. So, good question. I agree, it could very well come out looking cool, but I lost my nerve. This tree is the one that is closest to being in refinement, so it doesn’t make sense to take the risk. I have several other thuja plicatas that aren’t so near and dear. I’ll try a few hold-my-beer experiments with those instead.
Thank you for your response.