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  • Is one type of wax better than another for sealing fig branches?

    I'm going to start sealing the ends of my fig branches after I take cuttings in hopes of preventing dieback. Is there any particular type of wax that's best for this? Thanks.
    Bob C.
    Kansas City, MO Z6

  • #2
    Wood glue
    Nothing in the world takes the place of growing citrus till figs come along. Ray City, Ga. Zone 8 b.


    • #3
      Bob, I would say no. You may laugh and that is fine, but I use wax toilet rings. They are cheap, go a long way, are easy to get and work great. I use it to seal when grafting, I seal the cut ends of scionwood with it, open wounds on the trees... I use it for everything!
      Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

      “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison


      • Iqyax
        Iqyax commented
        Editing a comment
        Same here, toilet bowl wax rings have worked great for me in the past. Cheap and one package will last a loooong time

        Oops, just noticed this was a really old post lol

    • #4
      I don't use wax (melted tea candles, a paraffin wax) on the trees just on cuttings.

      For sealing the pruning cuts I use normal pruning sealer, the pruning cuts are made 1 - 2 node longer than needed and sealed, the following spring / summer the 1 or 2 nodes that die back are pruned to the recommended 45 degree cut after the new buds have grown out. Good luck.
      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
      Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b


      • #5
        Hey Bob, I've used liquid electrical tape with good results.
        Western Pa -6a


        • #6
          Liquid electrical tape for me too.
          Works great and come in different colors
          USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Boysenberry Blush


          • #7
            Hershell, I was going to add on what about wood glue. Do you like Elmer's Max or Titebond III or something else? Have you tried the liquid electrical tape?

            kubota1 and greenfig, do you have a brand you think works best?

            Thanks, all
            Last edited by Harborseal; 11-13-2015, 01:29 AM.
            Bob C.
            Kansas City, MO Z6


            • #8
              I use soybean wax, just because it's what I have from sealing mushroom plugs on logs.
              Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
              Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!


              • #9
                If I am doing a bunch of cuttings I use Gulf Wax. If it is just a couple of cuttings I use wax from a wax toilet seal. Take a small amount with a butter knife a put in on the end of the cutting and smooth with my finger.

                Bill - Long Island, NY 7a
                Wish List: Glacia Negra and any fig from Bari.


                • Vae Victus
                  Vae Victus commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This is what I use too.

              • #10
                After a lot of searching, all I found was this old thread. Bumping it to see what others are using these days to seal the pruning cuts on their trees (not cuttings).

                I was looking for specific pruning sealer brand recommendations, but no one ever seems to say which one they use.

                Have those using wood glue had good results?

                And what's the latest from the liquid electrical tape users--still recommended?


                “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Source Unknown MA 5b/6a
                Part Owner at Catskill Mountain Lavender


                • AscPete
                  AscPete commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Technically you are not to use sealer on properly pruned cuts because it prevents the cambium layer from callusing the wound and eventually covering it with cambium and Bark.

                  For regular fruit trees no sealer works as advertised, In practice Fig tree branches have pith which creates hollows and thin cambium layers that desiccate quickly often resulting in dieback at the pruned site. “Delayed” Pruning cuts made leaving excess material then sealing with the intent of final trimming works well for fig trees.

                  And almost any available water resistant pruning sealer can work, I still use asphalt based pruning sealer and trim back the excess after the buds have grown out, as mentioned in my previous post. It’s been 100% successful.

                  BTW if the trees are stored indoors after pruning regular Elmer’s Glue works well, it just has to dry before being exposed to any moisture.

                • ginamcd
                  ginamcd commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is exactly what I'm planning -- leave extra wood, seal it at the cut site after pruning, then trim it back next year. If I can time the pruning to coincide with moving them to storage, I may just go with glue. Thanks!

              • #11
                Is this stuff in place of parafilm? I have been using that and thought I was ok!!
                Eric - Lebanon, TN Zone 7a


                • ginamcd
                  ginamcd commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I guess we'll find out when someone comes along and tells us! This is all new to me and I'm going to have some heavy duty pruning to do soon.

              • #12
                Lots of sources say you should not use pruning sealers after pruning trees. This is a quote from some research by the University of Arizona:

                "Many people feel the need to apply wound dressings or tree sealants following pruning. However, the use of these sealants is not based on science and has been shown time and again to inhibit the healing of pruning wounds.....

                The promotion of pruning sealants is simply a marketing strategy that preys on our emotions. We all want to nurture our plants and we all need to understand that woody plants have the innate ability to protect themselves. Just say “no” to pruning sealants."

                Don, Danmark


                • #13
                  Application is sealing the branch ends when trimming, trunk damage or sealing scions while in storage. Parafilm is for graft protection or scion protection. The sealant could also be used to protect the scion end when rooting.
                  Zone 9b
                  S of Tampa Bay, FL


                  • #14
                    I use food grade cheese wax for sealing whiskey barrels & i bet that would be the most efficient wax. Best bang for the buck. Food grade sounds better than toilet bowl
                    wnc Z7a Hominy Valley - fig sales at happyvalleyenv.com/shop


                    • #15
                      Any one using bees wax? We use it only it needs to be warmed with a sterno heat under it first. Works very well except the heating is extra work. It does not hurt the cuttings or wounds. Even used instead of parafilm. The melting point is fairly low.
                      Northern CA 9b W L- Big Large Fruited Varieties and promising new finds