The Q&A Archives: Tree Trunk Growth

Question: Several months I purchased a wax myrtle tree that has a unique twist in the trunk a few inches above the dirt level. I thought that as the tree grew the unique twist would rise above the level where it was but it has not. Will the trunk grow up at all from the bottom or does it only grow from the top?

Answer: It is a common misconception that a given area on the trunk of a tree continues to rise as the tree grows. In fact, a tree does not grow that way. The shoots of a tree only grow longer out near the end, actually only the terminal inch or so. Farther down the branch than that the only growth is in diameter, as the branch grows thicker over time.

So in other words, if you hammered a nail into a young tree two feet above the ground, in 50 years it will still be about two feet above the ground if the tree lives that long!

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