Metamorphosa - main branch split

Discussion in 'Maples' started by dicky5ash, Feb 11, 2022.

  1. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Hello all - Hope everyone is well and is cracking on with dormant season jobs!

    I purchased this 1.3m P. Metamorphosa last summer. I’ve just noticed an almighty split where the two main branches divide in a Y.
    I have no idea how long it’s been like this..it’s not been knocked and is in a very well sheltered position.

    what would you do if anything? If I bind it above the Y presumably it will start bonding..if the is the recommendation action is it best done later in the year and maybe slice back the cambium a very little in the fork of the Y to promote it to respond with repair growth..I’d welcome and experiences and suggestions please.

    Thanks
    Rich
     

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  2. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good afternoon R, hope you are well also.
    I would open it up and clean it out. Then apply a little Bordeaux mix, then pull it together. I would consider some wax to seal against water ingress after pulling it together. I'm afraid its then a waiting game this year.
    Tbh I don't like the black appearing. So this maybe a 50/50.

    D
     
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  3. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Thanks D.. if I clean it up fill it with wax, bind it together..would the cambium grow over the top of wax?

    re blackened area.. yes don’t like the look of that..I think the split must have been present all along since purchase but I didn’t notice it because it was densely leaved.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    I would clean it up then wax over the top to stop water ingress

    D
     
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  5. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I second that.
    The pb is that you may have to remove the dead bark until you find live tissue. I use "bonsai" sealing paste, but it's not easily available and rather expensive if you want to seal a large area.

    What I do is I apply Bordeaux mix as suggested on the wood, cut nicely where the cambium shows and apply the paste only on the "green" tissue."Wax" can be replaced by candle wax (saw it in a video about a Chinese who does incredible grafts on Ginkgo), or plasticine with a bit of linseed oil and powder of Bordeaux mix, or even sticking aluminium tape used by plumbers. This last solution allows to protect the wood as well, but is more visible of course.

    The advantage of "bonsai paste" or plasticine is that it is supple and will last a few months.

    I have posted about such surgery in a thread about an Acer palmatum dissectum atropurpureum, a bit different but that's the same idea.

    acerp_atro-dis01-t_130228b.jpg acerp_atro-dis01-t_130228-v1.jpg acerp_atro-dis01-t_150525b.jpg
     
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  6. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Hello Alain - hope all is well with you?

    Very helpful thank you both Derek and Alain
     
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  7. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'm OK, thanks. Surviving... ;°)
    And as far as I can see, most of my maples will pass the winter unharmed. The one I'm a bit worried about is my pentaphyllum, I lost his brother last year. But here, in France, EU, I can get seedlings from Florama or other nurseries if things turn bad...
     
  8. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor

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    Two main branches of equal size divide in a Y . Bark is included into the attachment between two dominant stems.
    That is named ‘’Condominant stems included bark = embeded bark .’’(With those words you can find documents on the net).
    Condominant stems with included bark don’t form strong tissues between them.

    With growing, internal growth pressure increase, external bark brake; that is what is happening since last year.

    A bulge of new cambium tissues can be expected as said by Alain but very difficult to obtain in that case (i never obtain any);
    if it happens, in a few years, with internal growth => pressures increasing => the secondary cambium growth will brake again, and so on ...
    So joining of wood tissues in that case is impossible inside nor outside.

    Your A.p metamorphosa is with 2 equal main branches. I would cut the one on the right; straight the included bark of the left branch.
    This is a little difficult to do. I would understand you don’t do it.
    If you do, your tree is young, it can balance it’s form with the lower right branch.

    The blackened areas are not a disease. The bark at the edge of the fissure lips is aging, the colour will change.
    (I am pretty old,,,, so I have expérience of that from 50 years over all kind of trees.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
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  9. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I have to say I agree with @opusoculi the best thing might be to completely remove one of the two branches. I would also remove some of the smaller branches coming from the same general area, it looks a bit crowded in there. There are plenty of other branches on the tree and it could easily lose a few and still look good.
     
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  10. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Glad to hear Winter troubles are minimal..and I hope your pentaphyllum makes it through..the 3m one I have seen at Westonbirt over the past 3 years does not always look like it’s flourishing!
     
  11. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Thanks..what you say makes sense..If I leave it as it is I suspect the right hand branch will continue to be put under pressure with the increase of bark inside the split and it will eventually split with wind or something leaving an untidy wound. If I cut now it will heal much better.

    Thanks again
    Rich
     
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  12. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Thanks maf. Your right it is rather crowded it came like that last year..I picked it up at Batsford, some nice trees there!

    When would you do the surgery, I’m thinking April? It will be far warmer in Bordeaux where opusoculi is based!
     
  13. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    That is the $64,000 question! Probably before leaf out to avoid putting extra weight and strain on the split. Not very exact, but a dry mild spell after major frost risk has passed?

    Also angle the cut to slope away from the centre so as not to make a V where water will accumulate. I've made that mistake before...
     
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  14. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor

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    Surgery.
    -With a little saw, cut branch 2 in ‘a’ (‘a' in red); that remove the weight from the basis of the branch .
    -Then, cut in ‘b’ along the cracks; so that included bark of left main branch shows.
    (often we see differences in density of fiber that don’t weld together and some bark).

    -Spray Bordeaux mix all over the cut. That prevent disease and most importantly prevent deterioration of internal wood, which could lead to one necrosis.
    It will take several years to completly cover the cut. Spray Bordeaux mix 3 or 4 time a year (you can do it with a brush).

    If you repot this year, til the root ball by orienting the main branch vertically.
     

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  15. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    Thank you @opusoculi that’s very helpful. Would it be best to avoid disturbing any bark that has formed inside the split..as much as possible..

    Would a fine toothed hacksaw be best?
     
  16. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I would be interested to hear what type of saw @opusoculi recommends for this.

    In the meantime I will offer my thoughts - I don't think a hacksaw would be a good choice because the brace would create obstructions with stems and branches and get in the way. For the first rough cut I would use a normal small pruning saw such as the Felco 600. For the fine cut work I accidentally stumbled into using this Japanese woodworking saw which creates incredibly smooth cuts and is thin enough to slightly change direction for intricate slight curves if needed. I have the 150mm but it is available in shorter lengths and longer.

    Edited to add: the blade is very sharp and very strong, obviously made from good quality steel.

    I got it from this seller who is in Irthingborough lol, so just down the road for you or I!

    Picture:
    IMG_20220215_225151_edit_576525806020360.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2022
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  17. dicky5ash

    dicky5ash Generous Contributor

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    @maf fantastic..fancy there being a purveyor of fine pull saws just down the A45!!! Who would ever know!
     
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  18. opusoculi

    opusoculi Rising Contributor

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    @dicky5ash .
    It is not necessary to disturb any bark (generaly few) that has formed inside the split.

    In two years, the thickness of the trunk will have recover a regular diameter ; as for a young graft.

    @maf.
    Japanese are clever, their saw are known as the best.
    With a japanese saw, you have to pull and not to push as we do in Europ.
    For maples i have a little japanese pocket one.
     

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