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Lilac Branch Damage

Q: I have a medium size branch that is hanging off my bush due to an ice storm this past winter. Although it is almost completely severed, it has many, many buds on it. What can I do with this branch?

A: You don't mention whether or not the buds have opened or not. Buds are formed in the fall, so they are there in spring, ready to open at the right time.

If the buds have not opened yet they never will, and the branch should be pruned off.

If the buds have opened, the branch apparently has enough conductive tissue to be able to sprout buds, but it has been weakened due to the break, and it will always be weak in that area.

Trees do not "heal" themselves in the true sense, like we do. When we injure ourselves, our body replaces the damaged tissues in the same place with new tissues.

Trees do not replace damaged tissue with new tissue in the same place, they produce more wood around the wounded area to try to enclose or cover it.

And, since they don't "re-bond" breaks, the break never gets better, and usually worsens over time.

In this case, I would still just prune the branch off.

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Tom Mugridge

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