Should I use limb sealant when pruning trees in my yard?

Asked April 28, 2015, 3:33 PM EDT

Should I use limb sealant when pruning trees in my yard?

Fairfax Virginia

1 Response

Even though this was a recommended practice several decades ago, research in more recent years has shown that applying any type of wound dressing or sealant to pruned limbs is not good for the tree. It is best to let the tree's natural ability to enclose a wound to function without the impediment of a petroleum-based tree paint or sealant. Even sealant's that are 'organic' based are not helpful to the tree. Here are a few resources that might prove helpful if you wish to read more about this topic:

http://essmextension.tamu.edu/treecarekit/index.php/after-the-storm/tree-damage-and-hazard-assessmen...

http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/Gardennotes/612.html#dressing

http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-456/430-456.html

http://puyallup.wsu.edu/~linda%20chalker-scott/horticultural%20myths_files/Myths/Wound%20sealer.pdf

Bottom-line, current science tells us that sealing pruning cuts in general is not a good or effective practice.

Always feel free to call your local Extension office or visit an Extension Master Gardener plant clinic near you for additional resources.