Wound care on woody plants - How to prevent fungal infections


Cutting measures cause wounds on the wood as well as broken branches. Fungi and germs can penetrate untreated wounds and the woody plants can die.

© bellakadife / stock.adobe.com

A wounded tree is particularly sensitive to bacteria in the affected areas. With the right care, the wounds can heal in time and the crop is protected from disease.

Do wounds need to be treated on the wood?

Wounds on trees are usually caused by annual pruning, which is necessary for both trees and shrubs. Whether they need to be treated depends on the size of the wound and the season.


Smaller sores heal very well due to the typical summer heat. In most cases, no wound care is required.


Wood injuries should not be left unprotected in the cold season. The maintenance periods for most plants in the calendar are between January and March, plus the period from October to December.

Caring for wound spots properly

Frayed wound edges need to be smoothed out - © bellakadife / stock.adobe.com In the colder months, wound care is always recommended. If the wound is fresh, rapid treatment helps to protect the crop from diseases. The best way to do this is as follows:

1The first step is to check whether the wound edges are frayed. These are to be smoothed out with a saw or knife. Also remove short remaining branches. This enables the wood to heal wounds more easily.

Tip: Make sure that you always work with sharp and clean tools.

2 In the second step, treat the wound with a wound balm for woody plants. Depending on the product, the entire wound or only the wound edge should be treated with balm.

Tip: The wound balm used should be awarded a seal from the Federal Biological Institute.

In the warm season, usually no maintenance is required

Such a walling occurs when a wood heals its wounds itself - © vulkanismus / stock.adobe.com If a tree wound occurs in summer, the heat usually dries out the affected areas well, so that there is no suitable basis for germs and bacteria to spread is. A typical feature of such places is the so-called wall, in which the crop forms a veritable collar at the edge. On the other hand, a wound appears on the injury itself, which consists of a natural tissue and acts as a protective film for the wound.

If, on the other hand, a wound balm is used during this time, this can cause the wood to get further cracks due to the protective agents. Bubbles can also form on the bark, in the worst case it will completely detach. Curiously, the places treated with a protective balm are more susceptible to disease and fungal attack in summer than in winter.

Consequences of lack of care

If the wound of a wood is not properly treated, germs and fungi can penetrate more easily. There is a risk that they will cause a variety of damage in the forest. As a consequence, individual branches initially die, but the fungal disease continues to work its way through the entire crop, so that it gradually rots away.

Accordingly, wounds on trees represent an additional safety risk for trees within a garden and should be treated in good time.