Does Cutting Off Dead Branches Help a Tree?

Does Cutting Off Dead Branches Help a Tree?

It may sound counterintuitive at first, but cutting (or pruning) your tree helps it in so many ways.

Think of it like a haircut. Sure, you lose some hair initially, but, your hair shape looks instantly better. And by removing split ends, your hair will break less while the rest of your hair looks thicker and shinier!

It’s essentially the same when your arborist prunes your trees. You reduce the chance that they break while helping trees look and grow better!

More detail on why you should prune your tree on a regular basis below.

Why Cutting Off Dead Branches Helps Trees (and You!)

“If you want to grow a healthy tree that can live for a long time, pruning is a must,” says Jason Parker of Davey’s North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania office. “Specifically, cutting off dead or diseased branches helps keep you and your home safe.”

Here are the top three reasons why you need to prune your trees.

1. Prune for safety.

Pruning removes deadwood that could otherwise fly fall during storms. That’s why pruned trees are less likely to have limbs or branches break during storms, which helps protect your property from damage. And while pruning, arborists conduct a regular checkup to make sure your tree is healthy.

Plus, think about this. A mature sweetgum tree can grow up to 75 feet tall and weigh 5,200 pounds. When healthy, that tree continues to save you money and deliver beauty.

When unhealthy and neglected, that same tree could do tremendous damage to your home in a nasty storm–especially because it weighs nearly twice as much as a Honda Civic. In fact, the National Storm Damage Center estimates that in severe weather damaged or downed trees account for more than $1 billion in property damage in the U.S. each year.

The more you invest in your tree’s long-term health, the less likely it will do damage in a storm.

2. Prune for good health.

This is especially important when your tree is young – typically a few years after planting. Then, have an arborist train your young tree so that it develops a sound, sturdy branch structure. That way, you’ll proactively reduce risk!

When your tree is more mature, your arborist will often prune your tree to thin its dense canopy or remove weak branch structures. By eliminating excessive or competing branches, your tree’s shape improves. Plus, you increase the amount of sunlight and air that can circulate through your tree’s canopy. More sunshine means more photosynthesis and growth!

One study even found that pruning helps trees’ health. Trees that were not pruned for more than 10 years were in 10 percent worse condition than pruned trees, according to this study.

3. Prune for beauty, bucks and a bumper crop.

Arborists also prune trees to help maintain or enhance their natural shape. Some arborists think of tree trimming as an art form. They want to help every tree look as good as it possibly can.

When they do that, they help ensure your tree continues to benefit your home! One healthy tree in front of your home can increase the home’s sale price by an average of $7,130, found the PNW Research Station.

And the good times don’t end there! When you prune fruit trees, you help them grow bigger fruit on a more consistent basis. Say hello to more juicy fruit in your future!

Can tree branches grow back?

When pruned properly, removed tree branches will not grow back. Instead, the tree will grow what looks like a callous over the pruning cut, which helps protect the tree from decay and infection. Because trees heal all on their own, you don’t have to use a pruning sealer!

But when pruned improperly, branches can grow back. If your tree was topped, you’ll see small little twigs growing at the top of your tree, which means your tree needs help!

Ready to prune your tree the right way? Click here for a free consultation and pruning quote!

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