Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

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Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  AboveBeyond on Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:49 pm

I just got a Katsura Maple shipped to me and it has some broken branches. How do I go about saving them? Can I just wire them until the branches are healed?

The main apex branch:


The secondary apex branch on the right (with the main apex branch on the left)





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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:50 pm

Can't see the pics right now but you can also go back to the vendor & shipping company for the damage.

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  coh on Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:41 pm

I've had limited success repairing cracked branches, and these look pretty bad (especially the main apex branch). Plus you don't really know how long they've been broken (and drying out). I would definitely contact the vendor about this.

My approach would be to put the branch back into place, wrap it tightly with something like parafilm, then wire over that to hold it secure. I don't think it will work in this case, though - most likely you'll have to start new branches. Are these essential to the design or would you have wound up removing them anyway?

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:32 pm

I have used gorilla glue with great success. It dries quickly, you could use wire to hold while the glue sets. The branch will always be weak at that point and will need care n wiring, if it is wired at all. But, I have some trees that have been repaired (mostly tropicals) and you can't tell.

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:36 pm

On repair of broken branch...I prefer to splint than wire. If you do wire...do not attempt to unwind the wire later, make sure you just snip them off.

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:46 pm

Poink88 wrote:On repair of broken branch...I prefer to splint than wire. If you do wire...do not attempt to unwind the wire later, make sure you just snip them off.

As a general rule you should never try to unwind wire, that is a good way to break a branch, that is wire cutters are made for.

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:48 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:As a general rule you should never try to unwind wire, that is a good way to break a branch, that is wire cutters are made for.
I know but it is specially important in this case. I for one try to retrieve my wires to be re-used by unwinding (yes I am frugal) when possible.

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Tom on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:22 pm

I'd be happy to be proved wrong, but based on the pictures I think you've got zero chance of saving these, they're too badly damaged. Those aren't just cracked, they're practically broken off. Sad

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  JudyB on Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:31 pm

I've saved branches with just some elmers and a splint before, but nothing this badly damaged. You should give it a shot, what do you have to loose? You should for sure contact the vendor... Was it packaged well?

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  marcus watts on Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:05 am

hi,

I believe they are both a no - snapped too far through, dried out and not enough undamaged cambium to support the branch. Cut them off, recut all the ugly other pruning cuts and put sealer on everything - new buds will pop and you can grow a new top easily enough

If you want to try begin by glueing the branch with super glue so the wood fibres are 'repaired', then wrap the joint in raffia or tape - use a splint and cable ties to support it. There is a commercial japanese branch glue available - it may be better than superglue if it is fully weatherproof but i've not used it.

cheers Marcus

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Poink88 on Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:53 pm

Seeing the pics, I believe the first one is a definite goner. The 2nd may be salvageable but IMHO, not worth it. Just re-grow as Marcus said.

I would definitely contact the vendor and complain...probably ask for some money back...or return the tree if the form is totally messed up but I don't think this is the case for this tree. Good luck!

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  AboveBeyond on Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:54 pm

Here's an update after I super glued the branches!

Here's the branches after using super glue. The left branch is the true apex branch but it's almost certainly dead (all leaves on the branch are dead). However, the right branch seems fine so far with leaves in good health.


Full view of the tree. You can see that the leaves of the apex branch are dying, so most likely that branch is gone. The good news is that there is a small branch growing out of the same node. It'll take awhile, but I'll grow out that one as the new apex branch.


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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  JudyB on Sat Sep 08, 2012 11:35 pm

Looks like you have plenty of choices for branching up there anyway. And your apex will be faster than the rest of the tree, so it won't take long.

I am wondering if the seller or the carrier was the issue here, as I like to steer away from things exactly like this...
Would be good to know if you would fill us in.

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  Treedwarfer on Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:53 am

Y'know what? You would be in your rights to claim a full refund, and the vendor will have to haggle with the shipper every whose fault it was (been there and done that on both sides of the fence!).

BUT...

Its a great trunk with pretty darn good nebari, so is it worth NOT having the tree? You'll be cutting the branches way back, presumably, so you can shape younger growth while it's still flexible with wire and pruning? So why not send that development time growing a new and better apical branch? There are other options that might be much better in the long term. The pruning at the top of the trunk is brutally ugly, so you'd have to do some serious shaping of trunk line there anyway - might as well do it somewhere else instead. Think seven, eight, nine years from now.... And it will be all your own work.

Consider fate having done you a favor here. Very Happy

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Re: Repairing/Saving Broken Branch?

Post  drgonzo on Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:45 am

looks familiar, is this an Ebay tree?

-Jay

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