cutting dead branch

Does Cutting Off Dead Branches Help a Tree

Being nature lovers, we often got really angry when we saw people cutting off branches of a tree since we thought that they would damage it. But you know what happened not too long ago? One of our neighbors told us that they’re actually helping the tree. Naturally, we were very confused. How can you cut off tree branches and think that it helps? Isn’t it like cutting the limbs of a human? 

As it turns out, no.Thus, we’ve decided to research this topic and learn – does cutting off dead branches help a tree? And as it turns out – yes. As it turns out, you need to think of branches not so much as the human limbs, but more like hair. Just like our hair needs regular trimming and cutting for avoiding breakage, the trees also need to have their branches trimmed, to promote growth. However, there is a specific way of how you need to do it right.

The Reason Behind Dead Branches of a Tree

man cutting dead branches

For this, there is no clear answer, and a lot of arborists have different interpretations of why trees might have dead branches. The most common belief is that the trees react to specific triggers in the environment, or some elements cause the branch to die. 

Sometimes, scientists think that the tree itself is responsible for the death of the branch since the plant redirects its resources to different parts and branches. Often they might die naturally, since they receive no direct sunlight, or are no longer needed.But there’s one thing that all professionals agree on – it is always important to prune the tree, to avoid any complications.

The Effect of Dead Branches on Trees

While the tree eventually will shed off the dead branches, it’s best to help it ASAP and cut them off. Otherwise, the dead branches will hurt the healthy ones. Plus, having dead branches stresses the plant, so it will be a lot better to help it and get rid of these.

Does Dead Branch mean the Tree is Unhealthy?

Sometimes. There are a few cases you may find that deceased parts occur due to the presence of pests. The most common one is the Emerald Ash Borer. They nest on the arms of the bough and damage their vascular tissues. And that prevents the rest of the tree to get the needed resources. Also do keep in mind that sometimes the dead branches might be a sign of a dying tree. So in order to understand whether this condition is normal or something to be worried about – make sure that you know how to tell if a tree is dead.

How is Cutting Dead Branches Helping? 

As we mentioned earlier, one of the reasons we decided to investigate is to find out – does cutting off dead branches help a tree? As it turns out, there’s several reasons why it’s essential to do this procedure:


cutting dead branch safely

Routinely cutting the dead branches will help you avoid accidents. After all, it’s better to cut it off when there’s no one around, then leave things as they are. Because then, all it takes is a strong gust of wind, storm, or just time for a tree to shed off the branch naturally. Then, no one knows where this branch will land – on the roof, car, power cables, or even a living creature. Thus a regular check-up and pruning is a safety measure for you, the creatures around, and your property.

Tree Health

As mentioned earlier, the dead tree branches do cause a lot of discomfort and slow down the growing process of the tree. Thus it’s always better to cut dead branches to promote the better health of the plant.

Beauty and Aesthetics

When you prune the sick parts, you can see the branches are in a much better shape. And that will make the tree look a lot more beautiful and healthy. Moreover, if this is a fruit tree, then cutting off dead branches will speed up the fruit growth process.

Does a Tree Branch Grow Back?

Another question that was on our minds is can tree branches grow back? From what we’ve learned it all depends on how fast you were to cut a branch. Because the branch dies and you won’t cut it for some time, it will prevent the other, healthy branches from receiving the nutrients, since it affects the bark that transports these nutrients. Kind of like your blood transports oxygen throughout the body. 

However if you won’t hesitate, and stop the dead branch from affecting the bark, the branch will grow back after some time.

Final Words

So overall, does cutting off dead branches help a tree? Yes! It prevents bark damage, promotes health, and protects the rest of the branches. Thus, it’s always important to determine whether the branch requires a cut or not. To do that you need to break a little twig at the end of the branch and then twist it. If it green inside then the branch is alive, if not then the branch has died, and needs to be cut off.

Of course, always remember to watch over the state of your tree, and pay attention to the signs of its illness or even death.

And with that said, we bid you farewell, and wish only the health and beauty of your plants! So good luck, and feel free to let us know if you have some of your own recommendations on how to cut a dead branch.

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