Branch stumps. - A more complex example is furnished by a branch cut off short some distance - say a foot - from the base, where it springs from the trunk. As before, the immediate effect of the section is the formation of a callus from the cambium, phloem and cortex, which begins to rise as a circular occluding rim round the wood. The transpiration current in the trunk, however, is not deflected into the 12 inches or so of amputated branch, because there are no leaves to draw the water up it, and so the stump dries up and the cortex and cambium die back to the base, leaving the dead wood covered with shrivelled cortical tissues only. This dead stump gradually rots under the action of wet, fungi, and bacteria, and since the pith and heart-wood afford a ready passage of the rot-organisms and their products into the heart of the trunk, we find in a few years a mere stump of touch-wood and decayed bark, which falls out at the insertion like a decayed tooth, leaving a rotten hole in the side of the trunk.
If, however, instead of allowing the basal part of the amputated branch to protrude as a stump, we cut it off close to the stem, and shave the section flush with the normal surface of the latter, the callus formed by the cambium, etc., rapidly grows over the surface, and soon forms a layer of cambium continuous with that of the rest of the stem. The wound heals, in fact, much as if it were a strip-wound, and beyond a slight prominence for a year or two no signs are visible from the outside after the occlusion. Of course these matters depend on the relative thickness of branch and stem, and if much wood is exposed the dangers of rot and a resulting hollow in the stem are increased. It is interesting to note how much thicker the callus lips are at the sides of the wound than above and below, owing to differences in the distribution of the nutrient materials.
Stool-stumps. - When a tree is felled, the stump may, if the section is close to the ground and kept moist, begin to form a thick rim-like callus round the wood, in which adventitious buds soon make their appearance, and grow out into so-called Stool-shoots. The products of assimilation of these, and the stores accumulated in the stump, often suffice to feed the callus sufficiently to enable it to grow over and completely occlude the wound, if the wood surface is not too large, or so long exposed that rotting processes have meanwhile set in.