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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Reattach Broken Limbs Quickly

Q. My newly planted pluot tree produced one fruit this past season. I guess I pulled too hard and the branch where it was attached split. I taped the split back together with electrical tape. When can I remove it?

A. Limbs that have split will never grow back together unless you reattach the broken limbs within a few minutes after the split occurs. Once the crack or split dries, they will never “fuse” back together.
            Plants grow around wounds and surround new growth by burying this damage in older wood. If the split occurs in a strategic location that supports the weight of future limbs and fruit, it will probably never be strong enough to support increasing weight in future years.
Broken peach tree limbs due to the weight of a fruit load

            I don't know how rapidly you got the tape around the wound but if this happens again you must reattach the split tightly in a matter of a few minutes. I like to use the expandable green nursery tape that you can purchase from most nurseries are garden centers.
            I am guessing the split did not grow back together, is still there and the limb no longer structurally strong enough to support fruit or the weight of new branches growing from it. Remove the broken branch with the pruning shears and reshape the tree for future growth.

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