Last Updated on July 1, 2020 by Matt Gardener
Today, we will be looking at how to stop tree branches from growing back in a very simple way.
You can dictate the shape of a tree without causing damage to the tree by adequately cutting the branches to prevent new growth. Tree branches are usually cut when the tree is at its dormant season.
Tree branches are cut because they take up a lot of nutrients without necessarily enhancing the production of chlorophyll as they rarely receive direct sunlight.
However, if these tree branches are not properly pruned and cut, they grow back, which is why you need to prevent that from happening.
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Table of Contents
Why Should You Cut Tree Branches?
Before you learn how to stop tree branches from growing back, you need first to understand why you should reduce the branches in the first place.
There are a couple of good reasons why tree branches should be cut.
Below are some of them:
Cutting Tree Branches for Plant Health
Cutting tree branches for the sake of the plant’s health focuses on getting rid of branches that are dead, diseased, or dying so that the tree can continue to thrive.
This procedure allows air and light to easily pass through the entire tree, which provides for increased foliage while reducing the tree’s chances of becoming diseased.
It also helps a tree establish a significant and dominant feature that can withstand high winds and winter storms.
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For Safety Purposes
People often disregard cutting tree branches for safety purposes. However, it is a perfect reason to want to cut or prune your trees.
Cutting off some tree branches in your yard creates a safe space for yourself, family, and friends.
That is because; well-pruned trees are usually more robust and healthier, whereas ill-maintained trees are often diseased and weak, and poses a lot of danger to lives and property around them.
Sometimes, these ill-maintained or non-maintained trees grow so large and become too close to electrical lines, safety lights, or even block traffic views.
Another reason you should cut down tree branches for safety purposes is to safeguard your life and property against grievous hurricane damages.
However, this factor depends on where you live. It would be best if you pruned branches before hurricane sets in. A tree that is not well maintained or groomed can easily fall during hurricane and damage properties and other plants below it.
For Appearance and Landscape Maintenance
You can create an ideal plant for yourself by pruning your tree branches into the shape you desire.
You can also encourage the fruiting of trees, flowering, and even shape plants into specific shapes and sizes. This way, you control the appearance of your yard and landscape.
How to Stop Tree Branches from Growing Back
Tree branches grow back when the branches are not properly pruned. In order to stop tree branches from growing back, you should, first of all, consider the size of the branches you are about cutting.
If you are reducing, shaping, or thinning branches of small trees, such trees that its branches could be cut using hand tools, you should know that they will eventually grow back.
However, to stop them from growing back, you should cut the branch at about ¼ inch above any bud that faces the outside part of the plant. Ensure to keep your incisions at a 45-degree angle to prevent diseases and water damage.
If you are pruning a thick tree with thick branches, you will make three incisions and ensure that a callus is formed. The callus is essential to the continued health of the tree after the branch has been cut back.
The first incision is made at approximately 18 inches under the branch you are about cutting off. Cut up about halfway through the branch.
Make the second incision at about one 1 inch away from the first incision. Gently cut through and down until the branch breaks free.
The third incision is made on the collar of the tree trunk. The collar is the stem tissue around the base of the branch. It is easily identified on most trees as a slightly swollen rougher bark.
When you spot the collar on the tree, then you make the last incision on its outside, leaving no stub. Make a 45- degree angle incision to get rid of the collar from the base of the tree. This ensures that water damage does not occur and also encourages the quick formation of the callus.
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When Is the Best Time to Cut Tree Branches?
There is really not a wrong time to get rid of dead, dying, or diseased tree branches. However, the majority of trees get their branches cut down during mid-winter to late winter.
This is the dormancy period of most plants, and it encourages new growth as soon the active warm weather sets in. Also, the absence of leaves during the dormant periods makes it possible to spot branches that deserve removal easily.
Note that some trees are not ideally cut during winter, for instance, the maple trees. If they are cut during winter, they bleed sap. However, this sap stops flowing when leaves begin to appear on trees, and it does not harm the bleeding tree.
Summer isn’t the best season to prune trees, although it can turn out to be beneficial when carried out with caution. Experienced gardeners direct their plant growth by slowing down the development of a branch or an entire tree by pruning their trees during summer.
If you wish to direct the growth of your tree, you can do so by pruning the tree immediately after the annual growth has reached its peak.
What you achieve is that you have removed the whole surface leaf of the plant and has consequently reduced the number of nutrients transported to the roots.
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Tree branches can grow back if they are not cut adequately following some set rules, as we have outlined above.
Another method to stop tree branches from growing again is by sealing the stub, which can be done by applying a generous amount of sucker growth inhibitor solution using a paintbrush.
You do this by strictly adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions.