Is it time I bought a dremel?

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Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Ryan on Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:39 pm

Hey all,



Trimmed back one of my Willow Leaf today and noticed some dead wood. I cleaned the area up as best I could and cut to live wood, but there's still some dead wood left. I was thinking about buying a dremel and carving out these sections to get to live wood. The first spot is obviously the worst, and I would dremel the spot and create a sort of hollow. Any thoughts?



Spot one (the worst):


Spot two (not as bad):


And spot three:



Thoughts?

Ryan
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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Poink88 on Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:02 pm

Probably best if you carve it out and fill it.

I use this which you can find at Ace hardware.
http://www.amazon.com/Durham-Donald-Putty-168-Wood/dp/B0000DI7X7/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410209891&sr=8-2

BTW, on a pinch, you can use electric drill w/ a proper carving bit to carve that.

I use similar bits BTW.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6pcs-HSS-Router-Bits-Burr-Polish-Rotary-Tools-Suit-For-Dremel-Rotary-Tool-/371130226981?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item566915d925

No hurry BTW, you have time before the bark rolls near that center anyway...but it may get worse but I doubt it esp. if you keep water from seeping in them.

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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:47 am

Before Jim gets a chance to chime in. Almost everything inside the cambium is deadwood (heartwood). A tree will generally seal off deadwood and eventually cover it over. The concern in tree pruning is deadwood that has started to decay - this will lead to further decay of deadwood which is bad. That is what needs to be cleaned up and sealed to prevent further decay unless you are going for the hollow trunk look.

There are at least 2 schools of thought on sealing pruning wounds that expose heartwood. (1) Seal it off to prevent decay and keep the edges of wound moist so they roll over faster. (2) Don't seal ti since you will seal in bad stuff that causes decay, but seal the edges to promote faster roll over. I tend to be in camp 1.

I like to use sharp chisels to sculpt cuts so they heal neatly with the trunk/branch. I have both a Dremel and a die grinder I use to remove lots of wood, but I like to use palm chisels to clean up the cuts.


Last edited by Marty Weiser on Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:50 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added 3rd paragraph)

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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Ryan on Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:58 am

Thanks gentlemen!

I plan on picking up a kit for my drill tomorrow, Dario. I should be good to carve out the wood from there.

When I do drill back to live wood, however, do I want to cover it as Dario suggested? Since it is a Ficus and I've had bad luck with rotting, I'd like to treat it and prevent it in the best way possible. If I didn't want to have a hollow there, would filling it with wood putty be my only option, or could the cambium eventually roll over that section?

Ryan
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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:27 am

Cambium won't roll over air (hollow).  You need to fill it.

What Marty is saying is, all heart wood are dead...basically skeleton of the tree (and I agree).  There is however an area between it and cambium called sapwood...that part is alive and where xylem is located. Honestly, I am not sure if ficus nerifolia ever get heartwood.  

IF the wood is not rotten, you do not need to remove it and just let the bark roll over and "heal".  IF it is rotten, remove it and fill with putty (or anything that turns solid).

Having smooth cut (cut w/ sharp knife) encourages faster cambium/bark growth than that of ragged cut.  I too am a believer of cut paste to help keep the surrounding environment moist and conducive for growth.

Good luck!

Poink88
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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:07 pm

BTW, the fastest way I know to harden punky/rotten wood is with thin super glue (cyanoacrylate or CA). It does react violently w/ wet punky wood and may even release noxious gas fast (it always does but not as fast w/ others) so do it outside and keep your distance (maybe even hold your breath).

During the chemical reaction, it also produces heat that can burn your skin so be careful. Don't worry, plants can take the heat fine.

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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Ryan on Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:21 pm

I actually pulled out my knob cutters and really cut into the wood. I got out the majority of the deadwood and covered the wounds up with cut paste. Fingers crossed it works this time...





Ryan
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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:24 pm

Looks very healthy...you should be good and expect those to "heal" nicely in time. Smile

The 3rd pic looks a bit wonky to me...it will heal but will probably look weird compared to the first 2. Check it out and if need be, make the correction now.

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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Ryan on Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:51 pm

Poink88 wrote:Looks very healthy...you should be good and expect those to "heal" nicely in time. Smile

The 3rd pic looks a bit wonky to me...it will heal but will probably look weird compared to the first 2.  Check it out and if need be, make the correction now.

The third picture does look weird, but it's as concave as the others. I'll watch it and see if it becomes an issue though.

Ryan
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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  JimLewis on Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:20 pm

Dunno what the difference might be, but I've hacked and chopped at my two little willow leaf figs over the years and they are healing over nicely and have shown NO sign of wanting to rot. I can't recall if I used any sealant on the initial cuts, but I probably did not. If I did, it was the bee's wax material I've described here before.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:24 pm

Ryan wrote:The third picture does look weird, but it's as concave as the others. I'll watch it and see if it becomes an issue though.

What doesn't look right to me is the top left portion of the cut. It may be okay after the branch have thickened but for now, I feel like trimming it down. Always imagine how it will look like AFTER it healed. No sense doing it now and regret the result even if it healed properly.

Do it once, by doing it right the first time. Wink

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Re: Is it time I bought a dremel?

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