Healing Pruning Wounds with Marine Algae

Feb 21, 2016

Don’t you just love to prune? Yard trees, shrubs, berries, hedges and, most of all, fruit and nut trees are calling you to get out the hand clippers, loppers, hedge shears, pruning saws, pole pruners, and for me personally, the chain saw. I like a nice lightweight electric model for light pruning of unruly petunias, bush tomatoes, thyme, myrtle, and sweet peas…a little light humor (very light).

Pruning brings out the “artist” in all of us. A little nip-and-tuck, a little rounding up, a little rounding down, a little more ‘open’ look (some say, ”so a bird can fly through it”), a flat top, or just a “clean up” to be ready for the Spring Flower Show.

Trees and shrubs grow in many varied forms. Some have spreading crowns, some have central leaders with tall, straight trunks. And there are intermediate forms found between these extremes. Different types of trees and shrubs should be pruned to emphasize their natural characteristics, and be in tune with the chosen landscape setting. Maintenance pruning will enhance plant health and appearance.

Proper Pruning Technique

  1. Remove low, hazardous branches, crossing branches, and closely growing, parallel branches.
  2. Remove broken, dead, or dying branches.
  3. Control the size and shape of the intended victim/s.

Pruning produces plant stress by creating wounds, which require energy to seal and block entry points for disease. Dressings (tar or latex paint) for tree pruning wounds or limb loss due to storm damage, etc., will not prevent wood decay—and may even interfere with the tree’s natural ability to close wounds.

There are exceptions to paint dressings for some trees such as oak, mulberries, chinaberries, and pepper trees. Check with your county agent or state Agricultural Department to find out which paint dressings are appropriate. And be sure you select special pruning paint for treatment of these disease-susceptible tree/shrub types.

Proper care of tree pruning cuts encourage callus growth and wound closure. Pruning wounds break the bark and damage food and water conducting tissues. The wounds are also entry points for fungi and bacterial disease microorganisms. These infecting organisms can cause discoloration, wood decay, and structural weakness—which can result in the tree’s demise.

Pruning wound tissue can’t be repaired, nor can it heal. The wound does not heal from the inside out.  Trees “wall off” infected and injured tissues, and then generate new tissues. A tree responds to the wound by isolating the older, damaged tissue with the gradual growth of new, healthy “callus” tissue around the edges of the pruning wound.

Wound-induced callus formation is important to prevent infection as well as water loss.

Cold water marine algae promotes callus formation. Trees and other plants generate unorganized masses of cells in response to stresses, such as pruning or wounding. Using a product made from a liquid, whole-plant brown seaweed crème (used as a foliar at 2-3 ounces/gallon of water) will enhance trees, shrubs, and plants by promoting quicker and more robust callus formation.

And there is no substitute for proper fertilization to reduce plant stress! Use organic dry granules (6-10-1 + 10%) at 1 cup for every 1 inch diameter of tree, shrub, or vine trunk, and a liquid 4% humic acid soil additive at 2-4 ounces/gallon of water applied at the dripline. Use dry crumbles every other month, and humic acid every watering, to encourage rapid development of all plant functions—including beautiful callus production.

Recommended Products

Soil Source®

Soil Source® works to reverse damage and return soils back to their natural, optimum state. This product is a unique, biologically-enhanced humic acid, with a diverse spectrum of naturally occurring, beneficial microorganisms that help rebuild and restore soils. At BioFlora® we utilize a proprietary extraction process, which maximizes the amounts of humic acid we are able to procure. Our product is also comprised of many different characteristics that are not found in other organic acid products, such as soil carbon, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients.

Seaweed Creme®

Our Seaweed Creme is made from the finest source of Ascophyllum nodosum, a type of seaweed that grows in the cold waters of the North Atlantic. From there it is hand-harvested, sun-dried, and homogenized. This differs from most of the seaweed extracts you will find on the store shelf, which use a harmful, chemical-based, high heat extraction method, which diminishes seaweed’s vital content and produces a sub-standard product.

Premium soil amendment for planting trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetables, ground cover and much more. May be used as a mulch or seed cover. Helps break up clay soil.

Dry Crumbles®

Dry Crumbles® 6-10-1 + 10% Ca is a dry, granular fertilizer that is easy to broadcast and well-suited for broad-area coverage. BioFlora formulated this product to provide an excellent source of high quality, sustainable nutrients for all types of plants, trees, and lawns. With this idea in mind, Dry Crumbles was developed to be a balanced blend of not just nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, but to also contain high levels of calcium and other minor and trace minerals.


Sustainable fertilizers aim to be environmentally conscious and still provide immediate results, allowing you to achieve the distinct advantages of both organic and conventional products. Plantalizer 1-2-1 works to improve soil structure and increase a soil’s ability to hold water and nutrients. With Plantalizer, there is no risk of toxic metals or sodium build-up, which can be deadly to plants. In addition, nutrients are available to plants immediately, and overall plant improvement can occur within days due to Plantalizer’s quick-release formula.