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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 number of factors that impact how quickly tree branches 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, your branches will take a very long time to grow back. They may even be prevented from growing back at all. This is because damage to the tree trunk 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. Make sure you only cut into the branch wood. This is why you may want to turn to professionals like those at Mr. Tree. They will handle tasks like these without any issues or complications. This will give your branches the best chance of growing back healthy and strong.

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, particularly during stormy weather. 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, tree topping is actually severely damaging to the tree. The main branches may grow in again, but if they do, they will be severely weaker than they were previously. 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. 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. This is one way trees adapt to their environments so they can continue to thrive.

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 doesn’t 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. This tissue covers wounds in order to keep out decay and disease. The tree’s scars will always be there, but if you prune it properly, the tree itself will 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’s 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, it’s not necessarily expert level—the odds are pretty high that you could make some major mistakes. Unfortunately, your tree will likely pay the price.

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