What to know before you pick up that saw
Replacing a broken trunk
-- If the trunk is broken, remove it just above an upper branch.
-- After two or three years, the side branch will grow upward and form a new leader.
Correct cutting method
-- A final branch cut should be made just outside the flare or collar at the base of the broken branch, not flush with the trunk.
-- Over several years, the wound will close over the cut to form a near invisible fix.
-- Wound dressings may trap disease and are no longer recommended.
Location of cut (above or below broken wood)
-- If a splinter, tear or crack ends above a branch union, you can prune out the broken stem in a way that keeps the side branch.
-- If the damage extends to the branch or below, you will have to make the cut at a lower branch.
-- On heavy limbs that are to be removed, you must follow a sequence of cuts to prevent the falling branch from ripping the bark off the trunk.