How to seal a cut limb on a tree

Updated November 21, 2016

Pruning a tree is often necessary to remove overgrown, damaged or diseased limbs. Cutting the limb cleanly is an essential part of helping the cut to heal properly. This prevents disease and stops insect infestation. Pruning a tree while it is dormant typically does not require a sealant; however, when a cut is made while the tree is not dormant, you should apply a sealer to reduce the likelihood of moisture entering the exposed wound.

Remove a limb from a tree with bypass pruners so that the cut is even with the trunk. You may need to use a chainsaw on larger boughs.

Remove any jagged edges in the bark with the pruners so it is as neat as possible and so that the pruning seal can form an effective seal over the cut.

Prepare the latex pruning seal as directed by the manufacturer. Shake or stir the product to mix thoroughly before spraying or painting on.

Apply an even coat of the latex pruning seal to the cut on the tree. Overlap the pruning seal onto the surrounding bark.

Allow the seal to dry thoroughly, and apply another coat of the pruning seal, if necessary, to fill any holes or areas that were not covered with the first application.

Things You'll Need

  • Bypass pruner
  • Latex pruning seal
  • Brush
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About the Author

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.