jkoch at usgs.gov (Joanne Koch) wrote:
>I have a young apple tree in my yard that in the past three years has just begun
>to produce fruit. The tree branches off into a "Y". Last fall a bear broke one
>side of the "Y" from the tree. We put the limb back on the tree, put putty and
>tape around the the joining area and were able to save the entire tree. The tree
>has bloomed and is producing fruit again this year. My question is, what should
>we do at this point. Should we leave the putty and tape? And if so, for how
>long? Or is there an alternative to the putty/tape? And, will the tree scar
>around the area where it broke?
Stop by your hardware store and pick up a threaded rod long enough to
pass through both branches about 1 foot above the break. Not knowing
the size of the tree, a 1/4 to 3/8 inch diameter rod should be used.
Also purchase to large fender washers and two nuts the size of the rod
Drill a hole through each branch, centered, so that the rod will pass
through both branches, install the fender washers and nuts, keep one
side flush and tighten only one side until the branches move from
their resting position to 1 inch closer together.
Saw off the excess rod and putty around the inside of each branch
where the rod passes through the hole and paint the outside area
around the washer.
This will give support to the branch.
If you feel your taped area needs additional support, you can possibly
use the left over piece of rod, two more fender washers and two nuts
to secure it in that area.
The bark will eventually grow over the nuts and around the rod holes.