When removing a damaged branch from a tree or shrub, cut just beyond the swollen area known as the branch collar and never flush against the trunk. When branches are properly removed, the tree will be able to see over the wound to keep out decay and insects. The sealing process is starting in this picture and can be seen as the doughnut shaped ring outlining the pruning cut.
Learn more! Read the entire article on the Pender Cooperative Extension website, http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+144.
To find out how you can prevent future damage through proper tree selection and maintenance, read this Pender Gardener article from Sept. 2010: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=news&ci=LAWN+94.
Questions? Get answers by posting them online using our 'Ask an Expert' widget: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/index.php?page=askanexpert.