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Will Branches Grow Back After Tree Branch Removal?

An important question that gets asked when tree branches are removed generally revolves around whether those branches will grow back.

The answer? Kind of. Sort of. Maybe. Not really.

Anytime you engage in tree branch removal, you might assume the branches would grow back right away. If you assume this, you would be making an incorrect assumption. When tree branch removal occurs, you should not automatically worry if you don’t immediately see regrowth on said tree branches. There are a lot of mitigating factors in terms of how quickly tree branches will grow back or if they will grow back at all.

Pay Attention to Where You Cut Your Tree

One thing you absolutely want to avoid doing at all costs is cutting into the trunk wood instead of cutting into the branch wood. If you do this, whether accidentally or on purpose, it’s going to cause your branches to take a very long time to grow back and may even cause them to not grow back at all. This is because when you damage the tree trunk, it often destroys the ability of the tree to grow new wood for a significant period of time, or permanently.

So when you attempt tree branch removal, proceed with extreme caution and make sure you only cut into the branch wood. This is why you want to turn to professionals like those at Mr. Tree. They will handle tasks like these without any issues or complications so that your branches will have no problem growing back.

Topping Trees Is a No-No

In addition to avoiding cutting trunk wood during tree branch removal, you also want to make sure not to engage in tree topping. What exactly is tree topping? It’s when the main branches of a tree are cut back off the top all the way to the trunk. This is a fairly common practice for those with trees on their property, particularly during stormy weather, as it’s often thought this is the best way to keep branches from falling off. The assumption is that the limbs will grow back exactly as they were previously so all that’s really being done in their eyes is temporarily shortening the branches.

This assumption is wildly incorrect, and in fact, what you are actually doing by tree topping is severely damaging the tree. The main branches may grow in again, but if they do, they will be severely weaker than they were previously. In this case, they will be much more vulnerable to damage or being outright destroyed during future storms.

Branches Do Not Technically Ever Grow Back

You may have heard that tree branches never actually grow back, and technically this is true. Lower branches are usually shaded by upper branches, which decreases the odds of a branch growing near the spot where an old branch was destroyed. Plants are able to regulate growth by hormone signaling in relation to how much light part of a plant takes in, and portions taking in little or no light are not going to produce growth. You know this if you have ever been in a tree plantation and seen that the tall and straight trunks of trees don’t have lower limbs. This is because shade resulting from close planting makes the trunks “self-prune” and become straight, branch-free trunks.

Will Branches Grow Back After Tree Branch Removal

Further, the cut site of a branch is not designed to have the capacity to grow back. However, just because the original branch cannot grow back, that does not mean the tree cannot grow new branches. If the buds on the tree near the cut site are not damaged, you may see branches appear, but they will be entirely new ones, rather than regrowth of the old ones. So while a branch on a tree may or may not reappear, if it does, technically speaking, it would be a brand-new branch taking the place of the old one.

Ultimately, this is because trees do not heal the way human beings do. When you cut off a tree branch, the tree develops a special callous tissue—along the lines of a scar—which covers wounds in order to keep out decay and disease. That tree’s scars will always be there, but if you prune it properly, the tree itself can survive. Proper pruning is essential to the tree’s ability to grow new branches, and incorrect pruning will increase the tree’s vulnerability to disease and pests.

If you see bumps in a tree, they may very well be showing pruning scars that are well healed. The callous tissue grows from the outer edges into the center, which eventually results in the scars and wounds being sealed.

Hire Professionals

If you destroy tree branches, there is a chance new branches may not grow at all. The best way to avoid this type of scenario is to hire professionals like those at Mr. Tree to prune your trees. Let’s be honest: unless you have experience doing this kind of work—and even if you do, that does not necessarily mean that experience is at an expert level—the odds are pretty high that you could make some major mistakes, and your tree will most certainly pay the price.

With professionals like Mr. Tree, that doesn’t need to be a worry, because they have a fully trained, experienced staff, and all the equipment necessary to get the job done quickly and correctly. Plus, they will safely clean up any mess their work creates and dispose of the waste. Not to mention, they are professionals and fully insured, so safety is a top priority, and if there are any injuries or any accidental damage while the work is being completed, you will not be held liable.