|Ouch. Does it hurt?|
In 2010 winter snow split a beautiful weeping Japanese maple 'Crimson Queen' right down the middle and I thought it was lost.
But it wasn't. Temporary splints and traction were put in place --- a clamp, some plastic rope tied to provide tension --- and the two halves of the little maple came back together and held.
The clamp was temporary until I could do some tree surgery with a permanent bolt.
But you know how that goes. I got busy, the tree leafed out and I did not remove the clamp or ties. I didn't do anything, and it looked great all summer, hiding the yellow clamp and plastic ties under its beautiful leaves. A full year went by.
|You can't tell this tree is trussed together with hardware|
Because the clamp presses in on the outer layer that transports nutrients up and down the trunk, it can impede the tree's function. And sure enough, when we finally got to it last week and removed the now rusted clamp, there were severe indentations in the bark. I should never have left the clamp on all year.
Jim put plenty of wood glue deep in the center of the split, all the way down, and then drilled the hole and inserted a 4 inch stainless steel bolt. It was awkward work from underneath the low, dense canopy, but he got it done.
|Lots of glue and a 4" bolt. (There is plenty of glue in the top of the wound above the bolt too)|
|Last year - You can see how severe the original injury was|
I enjoy updates like this. Last winter I thought I had lost this tree. This winter it seems to be okay.
Over time the bolt will be incorporated into the growing tissue as the trunk increases in size, but it will hold the two halves together as that happens.
Even though I waited a full year, I believe the surgery was a success.