Quite often I have cause to attend to damaged branches of trees. Some of the damage has been caused by slasher attack, removing buds and branches for grafting, swarms of bees and birds landing on branches, general pruning, tree stake rub and occasionally over-weight fruit clusters.

To assist repairing the bark and preventing rot and sunburn, I have used the following mix with success, particularly on Rambutan trees, as they react to the commercially-available black mastic-like wound dressing.

Use very fine quicklime and add the water to it, slowly.
Then add the copper sulphate. Stir and let settle. (It will froth up a bit).

When it has settled (30 minutes), mix in the white plastic paint, in the proportion of 2 parts quicklime/copper sulphate solution to 1 part paint. Store it in a sealed jar.

The proportion of quicklime to Copper Sulphate is important, but the amount of water and plastic paint is not as important.

Do not use oil-based paint as it adversely affects the tree.

It is important that any damaged bark be removed and broken branches pruned neatly. In most cases the dressing need only be applied once.

Roger Goebel

DATE: September 1989

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