The Q&A Archives: Tree growth

Question: How can I promote the growth of more branches on a young tree? I seem to remember that there was something you could do to the trunk of the tree to stimulate the growth of additional branches.

Thank You

Answer: Some trees are gangly looking when young but fill out nicely as they mature. I wouldn't recommend doing anything to your tree. Young trees should be pruned as little as possible at planting time because hormones released by leaf buds and newly emerging shoots stimulate the growth of new roots. Weak and damaged branches, however, can be removed. Once young trees are established, they can be pruned to remove weak growth and give them a better form. When the tree has attained a fair height, any lower branches that interfere with human movement can removed, preferably over a two- to three-year period. Good luck with your new tree.

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