Bad Elm Chop... Not my fault!

AaronThomas

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Hey all...
So this is an elm that I ground layered last year and replanted this year.
I have had this tree for about 6 years or so. When I got the tree it had a pretty bad chop... like done with a drill paddle bit bad.(I say that only because it has a drill hole in the middle of the chop)
Anywho.... at this point I'm wondering if I should address it by carving out the center of the chop to allow for roll over and hopefully some new growth or at this point should I just leave it be?
Thanks!... And happy spring!

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Leo in N E Illinois

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If you can do it without wiggling, jostling or otherwise banging around the trunk to the point of disturbing the roots. Vibration, and movement can break fine roots, break enough roots and tree will have recovery issues. So this is my warning to consider before working on dead wood. I'm lucky enough my hardy trees freeze solid over the winter. Making the dead of winter an ideal time for carving and working on deadwood features and wounds. Just a generic warning.

Okay, to get this ugly chop wound to heal over, you need to carve the hard, dead wood core to a level just below the roll of the edge of the callus. That rolled edge to the bark is the callus. The wooden plug of the dead portion of the trunk needs to be carved so the wood edge is below the roll of the callus. This way the callus can swell over the wood, and eventually cover the wood with living cambium and bark.

Once you get the wood below the edge of the cambium and bark callus, you should scrape away a little of that edge, to expose a little green (usually green, it will be fresh and living material looking). This is called re-wounding the callus. You don't remove a lot of callus, just the edge.

Then coat the live edge of the callus with a cut paste or top-jin & cut paste or any cut paste substitute. That will keep the edge moist for a while, months or so, so that it can expand and roll over the wood. Once every year or two, go back and re-wound the live edge of the callus. It may take 5 to 10 years to completely heal this wound, but you can do it.
 

AaronThomas

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but you can do it.
Thanks Leo!
Always appreciate your advice!
Yeah... definitely not planing on disturbing the tree too much in the next few months... want the tree to really recover despite the massive amount of roots that took with he layer.
I'm hoping with the carving I don't loose that crappy top branch. LOL this tree only has about 4 branches on it.... Really looking forward to messing around the some thread grafts.
Ok one thing at a time.

Thanks again!
 
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