Silicone used for cut paste

DaveV

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Has anyone ever used silicone caulk for sealing up cuts on their trees/bonsai ?
 
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sfhellwig

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I don't think it would be very good to the plant, possibly causing additional die back at the site of application. Most purpose made products remain somewhat pliable but are also organic and will relax slightly as the cambium grows in and heals the wood, possibly eventually pushing the cut paste off. Or grows over the paste, I'm honestly not sure. I don't even want to use polymer clay in place of plasticene as I don't know how the tree will care for it. Silicone caulk on the other hand is a nasty product with very caustic fumes. When I used it to seal the insides of speaker boxes I read to let it cure for at least 24 hours before install the speakers because the fumes could damage some of the untreated foam surrounds. It also out-gasses for several days. So while it may not stink up your yard and hopefully your trees don't contain any foam, I still think the tree tissue would not respond well to this. I have also read of Elmer's white glue with sand and figure I will try that this year. I guess the glue will set up on the surface of the cut and can eventually break/release as the wound is progressively healing.
 

Mike423

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I agree I not only think there might be possible problems from any chemical content but that the tree wont be able to slowly shed of the caulk as needed. It is my opinion that actual cut paste is costly and unneeded most of the time. I use it only on my prized trees or on cuts substantial in size that I believe the good stuff is necessary. Otherwise I use simple Vaseline on a cut to seal it from outside pathogens when I feel a sealant is necessary.
 

bunzI

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I usually don't use sealant for my bonsai if I cut them in the winter. They all seem to do just fine. As far as silicone caulk goes, I would not suggest putting caulk on a tree. I know there are non-toxic alternatives, but if you are talking run-of-the-mill silicone caulk, that is toxic. I would be afraid of chemically burning or poisoning the tree. I also agree, that it doesn't seem like it would allow for the necessary peal off as the tree heals.

-N
 
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How bout not using cut paste at all? I've never had a compelling reason to use it. But then again, I'm a proponent of the presence of deadwood, even on deciduous, and to cut flush means one has discarded an opportunity. ;)

V
 

DaveV

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I trunk chopped a 3" diameter tree on Sunday (still winter here) and wanted to seal off the top before the sap flows in the spring. Is this necessary?
 

DaveV

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It is an iron wood or sometime know as American hormbean or Blue beach.
 

rockm

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Where are you? If you're in the east or even southeast, it's a bit too early to be doing trunk chops on Carolina hornbeam. Large chops on this speces are prone to die back under the best of conditions. If faced with freezing weather, that could accelerate the process.

I normally don't use sealants for anything--with the possible exception of Carolina hornbeam...However, the best sealant for this species is probably vaseline--covered with duct tape...It works, and it can minimize die back because it prevents tissue drying and the heat under the tape promotes callus growth. However chops are usually done in late March or early April to avoid frosts and freezes...
 

DaveV

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Well Rock, I did what you suggested. I don't think its an American hornbeam. It has been extremely warm here in Iowa - 50s today and even warmer tomorrow. It has not been below freezing for almost a week! I'll let you know what happens in a month or so. Thanks for the suggestion.

DaveV
 

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Mike423

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When some of you say that cut past is not really necessary I partially agree, there are many instances that I go without myself. While most cuts can be done with the absence of wound sealant, its application is still preferred due to the fact that it will help that same wound heal quicker and more aesthetically. If concerning large cuts or trunk chops, especially on softwood species like Maples I recommend to always use cut paste fore the above mentioned as well as for the obvious reason that large wounds leave the tree to transpire moisture, nasty scarring, leave a open door to pests and diseases, etc...
 

milehigh_7

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:eek: To seal or not to seal discussion? *ducks and covers* :eek:

However, we are missing a few key participants from previous battle royals on the subject. :D
 

rockm

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"Well Rock, I did what you suggested. I don't think its an American hornbeam. It has been extremely warm here in Iowa - 50s today and even warmer tomorrow. It has not been below freezing for almost a week! I'll let you know what happens in a month or so. Thanks for the suggestion."

The way you've done this will inhibit new buds on the trunk. The covering should only be over the cut.

Also don't know if a a month is going to be long enough to see much. If you're in Iowa, you probably have a few freeze periods ahead. The tree won't start growing until the soil six to eight inches down in above 45 degrees. That much thawing can take a while...

Definitely not a Carolina hornbeam. MIGHT be a hophornbeam...
 

grog

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I've a couple I've collected in southwest Iowa that I've had the extension office identify as hophornbeam, the bark looks pretty similar. I'll take another look at them when I get home and compare to your picture.

Was the tree still holding leaves? That's a pretty easy way for a quick ID in my part of the state, they're more stubborn than our oak trees are about holding last year's leaves.
 

DaveV

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Thanks Rock, I will make those adjustments today.

Hi Grog. Yes there were a few leaves still on from last fall. I know it's not a Oak.

DaveV.
 

Mike Jones

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I've pretty much stopped sealing now; the exception is Maples if I have not had the opportunity to root prune prior to reduction. On silicone, no I wouldn't use it but have used PVA glue some years ago when I ran out of Lac. (which I still like for root sealing) Lac Balsan that is. I've even used blu-tac when I had nothing to hand.

I find any late winter pruning clearing out of deciduous varieties (apart from Maples) seal themselves well before the Spring movement.

Where I will make an exception big time, is for example - a flat cut that remains horizontal between a fork or similar on pretty much most species, I find it does greatly help the prevention of moisture travelling down through the tree and rotting from the inside out. Once fully healed I simply seal with a preservative and job done.

Mike
 
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