Saving a Tree with a Broken Main Trunk?

Category Tree Health
Saving a tree with a broken main trunk may be possible. The rotting portion can be removed and the the cut sealed. However, this is not always successful and sometimes the tree must be cut down.


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I have a tree on my property, not sure what type. It looks like the top main trunk broke off at some point in the past. As you can see it has been long enough since that another smaller line has grown right past the broken part. But there is still a lot of broken exposed inner wood visible and I am worried that it is rotting and will spread down the trunk.

From the photos you can see that there is a main branch to the left of the broken trunk, as well as a somewhat smaller branch to the right. My thinking was to chainsaw the broken former main trunk straight across, just above where that right branch is growing out, thus removing a majority of the broken/rotting wood. Does this look like the right spot? Also can I clean out and fill any remaining broken/rotting wood, or am I better off cutting even lower down to remove all broken wood?


May 14, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hello !

When cutting branches, even for a year pruning only, you should always cut the branches with a strong bevel. When branches are cut straight the rain water stagnates and get into the wood when the cutting is beveled the rain water will slide along the cutting.


After cutting the branch cover the cutting with vegetal tar (pine tree made tar called Norvegian tar) If you can't find the Norvegian tar burn the surface of the cutting and cover it with lin oil.

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May 10, 20180 found this helpful

I would turn off all the rotting wood. I think fall is the best time to do this.

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May 10, 20180 found this helpful

if the tree is close to your home you are probably safest just cutting it all off and not saving the tree. I know someone who recently had this situation with an old willow and they just left it because pretty and exactly a year ago the entire thing collapsed one day and for the grace of God did not land on their house

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