Can you stunt a tree’s growth?

cherry tree growing in yard

Tree growth regulation

If you’ve heard about tree growth regulators, you wonder why anyone would want this. Trees can be a wonderful addition to any home. They provide greenery, shade, and are a natural habitat for many creatures, and the bigger they are, the more they provide all these things.

There are times, however, that bigger is not better, like trees right around your home. Tree growth and increment spurts are ideal when they are saplings. You can prune and trim them as they grow to keep them at the size you prefer.

However, if you purchase a house with trees already planted, you don’t have that option, and that is when a tree growth regulator is needed. Tree growth regulators are chemicals that are used to control the growth of shrubs and trees when pruning and trimming are not working. Many homeowners will ask “Are tree growth regulators safe?”, and the answer is if you use them according to directions, yes.

While extreme care needs to be executed when using a tree growth regulator, safety should be your number concern. You don’t want tree growth regulator application to affect your other landscaping, and most professional tree services will advise doing your tree pruning or use of tree growth regulator before you install and plant your other landscaping.

How do you stop a tree growing?

The genetics of a tree will dictate how big it will be, the same as with humans. What if you have a tree that you don’t want it to get as big as its genetics may determine? There are ways to stop a tree from growing: 

Keep the tree pruned back, and depending on the tree type, this will also maintain the diameter of the branches. Pruning will not stop a tree’s growth. It is a way to control growth to a certain extent. The downside to this is if the tree has annual blooms, pruning will prevent them.

If you’re planting saplings around your home, be smart about what type of trees you’re planting and where you plant them. Consider if their future growth will require a lot of pruning, how far the root system will grow, and if the branches or roots could cause any damage to your house.

By topping the tree at the branch ends on top, you can create a point and minimize how tall and wide the branches grow. Trees all respond differently to this manual tree growth regulator. Some trees will sprout new growth on either side of where you cut, and others won’t grow upward anymore, but will continue growing outward.

If you are planting saplings, you have the perfect opportunity to choose the trees and the size you want. By choosing trees that are a dwarf variety, specifically bred to be smaller by nurseries, they will stop naturally when they reach a specific size. With smaller yards in housing developments today, this has become a popular choice by builders, landscapers, and homeowners.

This sounds almost cruel and rash, but killing a tree is the most permanent way to stop one from growing. It is an extreme tree growth regulator measure, but it also a guarantee.

How do I stop my limbs from growing back?

There are 4 reasons that limbs are cut: 

  • Air circulation
  • Keep branches off the ground or roof
  • Remove dead limbs
  • Cut disease off

However, trimming a tree back to maintain the height or spacing at a specific level, it becomes an ongoing battle. Here are 4 steps that will stop them growing: 

  • Snip the branches end just at the leaf node in a straight cut, back to where you want using loppers, a saw, or a tree trimmer.  An angle cut will promote new growth. Make the cut just before a leaf node.
  • Mix the tree growth regulator with water as directed, using a brush in the mixture. Brush the mixture over the cuts you made from the tree.
  • Wait a 2 to 3 days and apply a second coat of the tree growth regulator.
  • If you notice any new growth, re-coat the with the tree growth regulator. This random growth will eventually stop.

 Will cut tree limbs grow back?

Technically, after you have cut a branch off, THAT branch will not grow back, but a new branch will.  Extreme care must be implemented, so you cut only the branch wood and not the trunk wood. The best way to get a tree cut or trimmed properly and safely is to call a professional tree service. 

Can a tree die from pruning?

Typically, if you’ve left some canopy, pruned trees don’t die.  You can over prune though, which can cause extensive damage. The foliage can’t make food to feed the tree when the tree has been over pruned or making the wrong cut. Pruning repeatedly over time can make the branches too weak for ice or wind, causing them to break.

tree during the fall

Will a tree die if you cut the top off?

There are 4 ways that topping a tree will damage it:

  1. Topping the tree takes the tree’s food source – the leaves.
  2. The shortened limbs are a prime target for decay, disease, and insects.
  3. The tree will grow new limbs too quickly that is weak and won’t stand up to ice, snow, and wind.
  4. New branches will grow to the original height and the cycle starts over.

So, yes, topping a tree can kill it, eventually. It will need extra attention and care to keep it alive and healthy. 

Tree trimming isn’t as easy as it appears, there are many things that a professional tree trimming will know automatically that will keep your tree healthy. If you have an emergency need to trim back limbs to prevent roof damage, following the advice in this article with cutting, trimming, and proper use of tree growth regulators will keep the tree healthy and save your roof. Tree growth regulation in Fort Worth, TX does not need to be difficult! Contact the experts at Butler Tree Health today at 817-882-6499!