Wound dressings do not stop rot
Research shows that wound dressings do not stop decay or stall rot. Trees have been responding effectively to their wounds for over 200 million years. Do not interfere with this natural process. Keep your tree healthy and it will take care of its wounds. In a short time the wound surface will blend perfectly with the tree bark.
If trees are wounded, remove injured bark with a sharp knife. Make cuts as shallow as possible. Forming an elongated ellipse is not necessary. Make all margins rounded; do not point tips. Do not enlarge the wound. Do not paint. Do everything possible to maintain health - water, fertilize, prune.
Holes for draining water
Do not bore holes to drain water from cavities. Drain tubes may be used for wetwood materials, but such treatment will increase the column of internal wetwood.
If cavities are to be filled, do not clean so thoroughly that the boundary between decayed wood and sound wood is broken. Fill with nonabrasive materials. Leave for professionals.
Injections and implants
If you plan to have chemicals injected or implanted in your trees, make certain that it is done only by highly skilled professionals. Check injection and implant holes after one season to make certain they are closed. Injection and implant holes should be very small and shallow at the tree base, not in the roots.
Cable and brace
If rot is present, put rods entirely through the stem, and use round or oval washers on both sides. Washers should be seated on the wood, not deep in the wood or on the bark. Cables should allow tree to move slightly. Leave to professionals.
Help Trees Stay Healthy
Before you fertilize or consider treatments for microelement problems, have a soil test done. Your tree may require soil acidification before fertilization, or treatment of microelement problems. Fertilizers add elements essential for healthy growth. Fertilizers are not tree food!
Trees get their energy from the sun. Leaves and needles trap energy in a molecule of sugar. Sugar is tree food. Keep leaves and needles healthy by timely treatments so trees can get their food. Keep soils free of compaction so roots can get water and essential elements. Do not over fertilize.
Some insects and microorganisms DO start tree problems. When in doubt about what to do, contact the extension agents from your county, state, or university, or ask the United States Forest Service or professional arborists.
Check for Potential Hazards
Correct pruning is the best thing you can do for your tree.
The best time to prune living branches is late in the dormant season or very early in spring before leaves form. Dead and dying branches can be pruned anytime. Use sharp tools! Make clean cuts. Be careful with all tools. Safety first!