To Seal or Not to Seal

milehigh_7

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. . . That is the question

I have read many many books that say to use wound sealer/cut paste and have lately seen many say it is not only useless but harmful.

What is the straight scoop?


Is there research to support one view or the other?

Thanks!
 

JasonG

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I have mixed feelings on this...Walter Pall doesn't use cut paste and has never had any issues with not using it. In Japan, they use it. I even have cut paste for conifers and for decidous trees. They are different.

I think that article on KoB and the research done is for huge landscape trees in the ground and not for small trees in a bonsai pot. They are talking about "Painting" on the sealant. THat is that black tar stuff that you see from time to time on a tree in the park. And who knows how long the wound was open before an arborist came along and painted it???? That is very important
Putting cut past on a wound the size of your finger on a bonsai is a bit different. Will it actually help the tree, I don't know but I also don't see how it can really hurt the tree either. I am talking about good cut paste, not hemeroid juice, vasaline or playdough, but stuff designed for trees.

I think it is all a big matter of prefrence....you either like it and use it or you don't. Either way I don't think that end result on your bonsai will differ much if any at all.

I personally haven't used it all that much until recently and I will only use it on a split in the cambium as a result from heavy bending.

my 2cents

Jason
 

milehigh_7

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Thanks, that article and knowing that Walter does not use it are two of the reasons for my question.

I don't have a dog in the fight as I am doing my best to learn. It is the opinion of those beyond me that I want and need. What has been your experience with and without sealing?

Thanks!
 

Vance Wood

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There are two trees that cut paste should be used on, Azaleas and Korean Hornbeams. The reasons I have read from reputable sources claim that both these species are suseptable to air born fungi spores that enter through wounds and can kill the tree. As to the rest I agree, it is a matter of preference, and I might add the time of the season. For instance: Colorado Blue Spruce bleed profusely when pruned during the growing season. This in itself is not bad but---it is highly unsightly, leaving a white crusty dribble trail down the trunk spoiling the look of the bark for a number of years. If you have a well developed bark cleaning this tree booger off is almost impossible without damaging the bark it has polluted. I would suggest that this might be a problem for a number of other conifers as well. Pine sap is ver resionous, gooey, and messy, not to mention ugly.
 

greerhw

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There are two trees that cut paste should be used on, Azaleas and Korean Hornbeams. The reasons I have read from reputable sources claim that both these species are suseptable to air born fungi spores that enter through wounds and can kill the tree. As to the rest I agree, it is a matter of preference, and I might add the time of the season. For instance: Colorado Blue Spruce bleed profusely when pruned during the growing season. This in itself is not bad but---it is highly unsightly, leaving a white crusty dribble trail down the trunk spoiling the look of the bark for a number of years. If you have a well developed bark cleaning this tree booger off is almost impossible without damaging the bark it has polluted. I would suggest that this might be a problem for a number of other conifers as well. Pine sap is ver resionous, gooey, and messy, not to mention ugly.

Believe this or not, I agree with Vance. I hate to get pine sap on me and my tools, so I use cut paste.JBP's can bleed for a long time.

Harry
 
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Totaly, completely disagree with that read.

Then you are totally disagreeing with some of the best arborists of our time as well as some solid university research. What do you base your statement on?


Will
 

milehigh_7

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Will! Good to see you around. I was starting to wonder if you were still posting here.

I think nearly every book I have read states that you must seal but then I heard Walter say no. Who am I to argue?

So from what has been said so far, making broad generalities about this practice may be a mistake. There seems to be more to the story. Is it possible that there are variables such as species, wound size, and time of year that should be factored into one's decision for or against?

As I said I am only on the path to learning and after twelve years of university I have learned that you never know it all.
 

TheSteve

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I think sealing is more important in the winter months when it may be an avenue for moisture loss in an already dessicating time.
 

king kong

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one step at a time

First you are going to have to clear your head of all the previous 'expert' opinions and start from scratch. Are you going to be able to do this otherwise my presentation will be a waste of time. Lesson one will start with this picture.
 

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Jay Wilson

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So from what has been said so far, making broad generalities about this practice may be a mistake. There seems to be more to the story. Is it possible that there are variables such as species, wound size, and time of year that should be factored into one's decision for or against?

I think you have put this very well. I would add that trees in bonsai culture might need different treatment than large, freely growing trees.

I personaly don't seal pines, but i do put a short term sealer on decidous(sp?) trees for the reasons that Steve mentioned.


Kong, Love the deadwood!
 

king kong

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"Below are some myths of Bonsai that have been shown, without a doubt, to have absolutely no good effect at all when used on plants."

This statement was and is a total falsehood.
 
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pjkatich

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To seal or not to seal, that is the question.

This is very much a personal issue for each of us. There appears to be conflicting information regarding both sides of this issue.

From my point of view, I tend towards the conservative approach when it comes to bonsai care. I like to use cut pastes and sealants on my trees and have personally done experiments regarding the effectiveness of these products.

I have found that there are some varieties of plant material that respond well to these treatments and some that don't. The type of trees you grow, the environment in which they are grown, the density of the wood, and the varieties of wood damaging critters in your area all can play a part in your choices.

For myself, I live in an area with high humidity and high temperatures most of the year. These conditions tend to promote rot and decay in unprotect cuts. Especially on trees that are not native to my area. Thus, my concervative approach.

With one species of plant material in particular, the wistera, not using a sealant will invite all forms of rot and decay to slowly destroy your work. Wisteria require that all cuts be throughly sealed and monitored on a yearly basis if you wish to maintain the integrity of the plant. Even a small cut that is left unsealed will introduce rot into the interior of the tree in a short amount of time.

REgards,
Paul
 
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One purpose of sealing wounds that seems never to have been given much weight is the aesthetic use of cut paste. If you are not showing your tree, you won't care, but once in a while, a tree might be shown or photographed with cut paste on it. It makes a great way to temporarily glue on a camouflage bit of bark for show.
 
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One purpose of sealing wounds that seems never to have been given much weight is the aesthetic use of cut paste. If you are not showing your tree, you won't care, but once in a while, a tree might be shown or photographed with cut paste on it. It makes a great way to temporarily glue on a camouflage bit of bark for show.


I agree, however the subject is if cut paste actually serves a purpose as far as healing, protecting, or preventing is concerned. Cut paste does indeed have a purpose as far as hiding a wound is concerned, however leaving it on can trap in the very things people claim it keeps out.


Good point Chris.



Will
 

king kong

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cell suicide

I look at this way.The faster the tree walls off the injury with the callus the better. Just as an infection can slow up animal cells healing process, an infection can slow up a plant cells sealing process. Dieback is the enemy and must be avoided. Here is something interesting. They are finding that plants use PCD (programmed cell death) to create protection zones of dead cells around infection sites to prevent the invading pathogen from spreading.
Here is an example of an injury that was cut with clean edges, wood was sealed and performed during growing season. So, no pathogens, no infection, no PCD just collar tissue to the rescue. Ten months duration.
 

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"Below are some myths of Bonsai that have been shown, without a doubt, to have absolutely no good effect at all when used on plants."

Will, you sure fooled me.

No fooling at all, my article linked to above plainly references some professional research as well as research and observations of the man often considered to be the best arborist of our time.

The issue has been studied and researched by trained professionals and universities have published results, the consensus is that sealing a wound has absolutely no good effect what-so-ever and doing so may well cause more damage than leaving it unsealed. Trees in nature have survived millions of years without a cut paste fairy running around smearing gook on wounds.....and as far as visual considerations go, the concave cutter solve this problem for us, not sealer.

However, I respect the need for some to argue with solid research and years of study, just don't expect others to waste time doing the same.

You can also add Danny Use to the list of bonsai professionals who do not use cut paste or sealers.


Will
 

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