The LW Treecare Blog

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Repairing broken branches

It’s often possible to save a branch that has partially torn off a tree or even entirely broken free by grafting it back into place, much like you can graft an amputated finger back onto a human hand.

First, maneuver the branch into the right position.

First you have to get the branch temporarily into the right position. You can also prop the branch up with one or more stakes or tie it temporarily into place with wire or cord. You’ll want it perfectly aligned with its original position.

Grafting the branch back onto the trunk can be as simple as screwing it back into place with two or three galvanized screws, but that will only work if the branch is quite small If not you’ll need a support.

Use a threaded rod, washers and nuts to solidly hold the branch in place.

Pierce a hole through the base of the branch and right through the trunk and insert the rod. Place a washer and a nut on each end and tighten firmly to hold the branch tightly against the trunk.

More than one rod may be necessary to hold the branch in place.

To finish, remove any shoring, rope or wiring.

It isn’t necessary or even useful to paint the wound with any kind of product. Just let nature take its course. Fresh cells and bark will slowly cover the wound and eventually it will be scarcely visible.

Grafting a tree branch back into place doesn’t have a 100% success rate, but if in the spring healthy foliage sprouts on the broken branch, there is a good chance that it will recover perfectly and go on to live for many years.

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