Bleeding Zelkova

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Bleeding Zelkova

Post  GerhardGerber on Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:25 pm


I bought several trees at a nursery that's closing down, including 2 Zelkova serrata.
Choose the thickest 2, and only later noticed all was not well with one of them......few dead branches but not too serious, and I also noticed about 2m up the trunk stopped dead in a little stub.
Clearly not a new development since the canopy had developed around that to the point it was difficult to notice.

I was busy breaking out the dead branches, tried the dry stub at the tip of the trunk and it broke out!

THEN I saw what looked like tiny termites scurrying around in the hole....... Sad 

To explain my next actions, I don't have space for these trees where I rent, got some space elsewhere, and on that day my time was limited.....
I poured a tiny bit of undiluted systemic poison into the wound, and later sealed it with wood glue (cold glue) that I use on all cuts normally.

Please note middle of the winter here, trees still had some yellowed leaves on when I bought them, but they're full on dormant now.

Anyway, about a week later when next I saw the tree it has started bleeding sap from the wound, my sealer hadn't helped at all, and for the past 3 weeks it's been bleeding non-stop.
We're still 2 months+ away from Spring......

I'm pretty sure the termites are wiped out, but I'm really worried about the tree.

I've been considering chopping some of the trunk including that wound and about 3 branches (not serious), but since I've never experienced anything like this and Google wasn't much help, I was hoping somebody has some advice.

BTW, if it's unclear - these are not bonsai, but big nursery trees that will be air-layered into many bonsai starters.



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Re: Bleeding Zelkova

Post  Andrew Legg on Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:45 pm


I may be mistaken, but the wood glue you may be using is probably water-based. The sap flow will just wash it away. Perhaps try a plastercine. In Cape Town, we can buy it at CNA or kids's toy shops. You can mix it with a few drops of olive or canola oil to soften it. Not sure if t will work, but it's worth a try. The other thing you could try into burn it with a blow-torch, and then wood glue the burnt bits, but that's a long shot!

Good luck.

Andrew Legg

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