Late Winter, in advance of repotting it into a smaller container, I wanted to get a little maintenance work completed. The cut at the back of the tree is not healing well, and needs to be cleaned up every year or two. I have had lots of requests to see the back of the tree. Usually the conversation goes like this, “how’s the back of this one look?” To which I respond, “Like I chose the right front.” And move on. Well, you asked…
Each year or two, I clean up the wound, repack it, seal it and let it continue. Several years ago, I cleaned out the rot, which has resulted in a hollow trunk through to the bottom, and filed it with a concrete-based wood filler. I applied cut paste over that and hoped for the best. The wood filler traps water though, and ultimately did not prove to be the best product for the job.
The work done:
Remove old cut paste
Carve away rotted wood
Remove the loose wood filler
Clean up the callus on the right side where it is healing
Expose the cambium around the cut
Since the wood filler attempt, I have found epoxy putty works better as a filler for large hollows. It is long-lasting, smooth (for callus formation) and not pervious.
Epoxy putty applied:
Then covered the whole thing in cut paste.
That part of the work is complete for the year. When it is repotted in March, I’ll address the hollow from the underside too.
Last year, this tree was infested with scale. I didn’t think anything of the white eggs that covered the trunk in March, and hadn’t seen anything like it to indicate a problem. But by April, this tree was covered in large scale insects. In February this year, I noticed a few those eggs on the trunk again..
See them? How about now…
Yesterday I hit all trees with dormant oil spray. Tonight after cleaning up the wound in the back of the tree, I rubbed alcohol on the eggs too.