Painting Tree Wounds?
Marianne C. Ophardt
Washington State University Extension
Area Horticulture Specialist
Should pruning cuts and other tree wounds be covered with some kind of paint? No! Wound dressing or pruning paints are not recommended. Research has shown that they don't prevent wood decay behind the pruning cut and may even increase the amount of wood rot by keeping the environment moist and dark. It's better to keep the wound open to air and light. Sometimes pruning paints are applied for cosmetic purposes. When this is done, they should only be applied in a thin coat.