Trimming and pruning trees are essential to keeping them healthy and beautiful. Removing dead and weak limbs or branches growing too close to power lines or the roof ensures safety and stability while improving your home’s curb appeal. Most trees need pruning at least once a year.
In the past, applying pruning paint or tree pruning sealer to the tree wounds after removing branches was standard practice. However, at Georgia Tree Company, Alpharetta’s tree trimming experts, we do not typically seal pruning wounds. Here, we explain why we do not recommend the practice.
What is Tree Pruning Sealer?
Cutting tree limbs creates wounds on the tree, just like on your skin. To protect the wounds from decay and pest infestations, arborists used to apply a tree pruning sealer to cover the damage while it healed.
However, researchers discovered that applying a sealant to pruning cuts can harm the tree. Instead of supporting healing, sealers slow down the process and create a greater risk to tree health. Not only do sealers prevent moisture loss during healing, which encourages rot, but many products contain toxic petroleum or asphalt, which affects overall tree health.
Encourage Natural Tree Healing with Proper Pruning
Instead of using tree pruning sealer, arborists rely on proper pruning techniques to protect trees. Cutting trees with sharp equipment at a 45-degree angle at the branch protection zone can prevent insect damage and decay after pruning. The importance of proper technique is one reason it is best to leave trimming and pruning to professionals; improper pruning can do more harm than good and may even lead to a dead tree.
After pruning, trees heal themselves by growing over the pruning wounds. The tree produces sap to cover the cut and protect against insect damage and rot, then grows new wood over the cut to create a callus over the wound over several years.
Why Oak Trees Are the One Exception
The only trees that may need pruning paint or sealer after trimming are oak trees. Sap beetles flying from tree to tree can spread a fungus that causes oak wilt, which can kill the tree. Fresh cuts attract the beetles, so protecting the wounds for seven to ten days after pruning is necessary for protection.
If you need to prune oak trees, it’s best to do so outside the high-risk season. Applying an organic or latex-based sealant can protect the tree until it produces enough sap to repel insects.
Get Help with Tree Pruning from the Local Experts
If your trees need pruning, let the experts from Georgia Tree Company take care of them safely without needing tree pruning sealer. Our experienced certified, licensed, and insured arborists can help you learn the importance of tree trimming and answer any questions about your trees and how to care for them. We also provide tree removal, emergency tree services, stump grinding, and more.
Call us at (404) 990-0010 today to learn more about tree care and schedule pruning and trimming.