Can A Damaged Japanese Maple With A Split Trunk Be Repaired And Saved?

Filed Under: Gardenality Members, Trees · Keywords: Japanese Maple, Split Trunk, Damage, Repaired, Saved, Fixed · 2776 Views
Dear Gardenality Members,
Back in 2011 (NH) a bad ice storm sent a hugh branch right down on my weeping Japanese maple (Tamukeyame) tree splitting the center trunk by 3-4 inches. At that time we followed internet directions to drill a screw into the split to hold it together and tape with duck tape to secure it. All well & good till now. The screw has worked its way into the tree and tape has fallen off. Exposing the trunk split. We removed the tape and original screws. Some of the branches are dead, but most of it is alive. My husband found a clamp and clamped the trunk to hold it together. Now what do we do? Any words of wisdom on what to do with this trunk split would be most appreciated. I would really like to save this tree, it one of my favorites and needless
to say most expensive. Thanks for all responses.
Eileen


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3 Answers

Answer #1 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Hi Eileen - I'm sorry to hear about the damage to your Tamukeyama Japanese maple. These are such beautiful trees. I had this same thing happen to a very nice Oklahoma redbud tree a couple years ago when a branch fell from a large oak and split the two-trunked tree apart at the fork about 1 foot above the ground. You did the right thing by drilling the screws into the split to pull the two parts together. The inside wood will not grow back together but, sometimes, if it's done soon enough, the outer layer of bark will grow back together. It sounds as though yours might not have healed? If not, you could continue to clamp or wrap the split but this will be an ongoing thing you'll have to do to hold the split trunk together. Another problem is that high winds could further damage the tree. Over time, one side or the other, or both sides may die. One side of my redbud tree ended up dying, destroying the shape of the canopy, so I went ahead and removed and replaced the tree. Sorry I couldn't provide you with better news.

Let us know if you need more details or have any other questions.

Brent)



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Answer #3 · Michelle Horne's Answer · Even if it doesn't work I wouldn't necessarily yank it out. I had this happen nearly two years ago to my weeping Japanese maple and was completely heart broken. In my case the top of the umbrella and back side of it was ripped completely off. I didn't have the heart to rip it up so I just left it be. Today it is beautiful and healthy.)


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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Great! Looks like yours filled back out nicely from what was left of the tree.

5 years ago ·
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Maple Tree

Maple Tree · Gardenality Genius · Zone 10A · 30° to 35° F
That is a beautiful tree Michelle. You're right, you never know what new growth will develop possibly making a beautiful tree again. I'm a Japanese Maple addict and feel there is a place for any shaped maple. It would be hard for me to dig up and throw one away unless it was actually dead. I have purchased damaged maples cheap that were completely void of limbs on one side. These make great trees for locating in corners and against walls and other plants. I have picked up trees that were damaged badly from neglect, pruned them down, did some root pruning, and placed them in smaller pots. These have developed into great, small, beatutiful trees for small gardens and patios. Thanks for your comment.

5 years ago ·
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Eileen Vandenburgh

Eileen Vandenburgh · Gardenality Sprout · Zone 5B · -15° to -10° F
Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement! It's actually looking a little better as the season warms up.

5 years ago ·
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Answer #2 · Eileen Vandenburgh's Answer · Thanks Brent for responding. That is what I thought might be going on. But as long it still has life, we will keep it clamped!
Time and Mother Nature will tell.
Eileen)


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Gardenality.com

Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
I can't blame you. I'd do the same with a Japanese maple. My redbud just looked too lame after the one half died. Hated to remove it but had to.

5 years ago ·
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