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Will Broken Branches Kill a Tree?

A large broken branch doesn't just take away from a tree's natural beauty; it can raise questions about the integrity and health of a fundamental part of your landscaping. Read on to learn more about how Top Tier Trees, the best tree service in Woodstock, GA, addresses the question, "Will broken branches kill a tree?" 

Broken Branches and Tree Health

A small broken branch or two doesn't necessarily mean the end for an otherwise healthy mature tree. Nonetheless, it's very important to stress the risks presented by significant broken tree branches. If a branch completely breaks away from a tree, an inevitable wound is left behind on the trunk. That wound opens the tree up to additional structural stress and destroys an important part of its natural defenses against diseases and pests. 

Of course, every situation must be evaluated on its specific circumstances and often requires inspection and analysis by an arborist or tree expert.  

Broken Branch Repair

Small breaks in branches that do not completely fall away from a tree can sometimes be reattached using grafting tape. This type of tape allows a branch to naturally heal over time while being held in place, somewhat like a cast or splint on a broken bone. It can take several months for a break to heal using grafting tape.

If a small branch has broken completely away from the tree, it is usually best to make a clean cut just outside the branch collar, where the branch connects to the tree's main trunk. 

Large broken branch repair is more complex and is normally best handled by a tree professional. Large tree wounds caused by the loss of a major branch need specialized expertise and repair techniques. 

A tree professional may be able to reattach large branches that have only partially broken by using splinting or cabling to support a larger branch with sturdy braces or wires to hold it in place while the tree heals. 

In situations where a tree professional cannot reattach a large branch, they will sterilize and clean the resulting wound. Modern arboricultural practice has trended away from the use of sealants to close a tree's wound, as a tree's natural ability to compartmentalize damaged tissue and prevent the spread of decay is considered better than sealing up wounds. 

Tree Care Basics for Preventing and Healing Broken Branches

As always, preventative care is the best way to prevent broken branches to the extent possible. 

Trees need proper watering and nutrition to maintain proper health and stand the best chance of not losing branches to weakness or the ability to fight infection or destructive insects. 

Always ensure your trees are adequately watered, especially during extended periods of dry weather. Balanced fertilization that is species-specific is also a great plan for avoiding structural weakness and immune system deficiencies.

Regular pruning will keep a tree from struggling to support weak, diseased, or dead branches. Proper pruning practices promote healthy growth and improved air circulation throughout a tree's canopy.    

After a tree has suffered a broken branch, timely remedial actions will help the tree heal. 

Remove dead leaves, twigs, and other debris from around the tree's base. This will help prevent pest species from easily infecting the tree. 

Trim the area around the wound. Jagged edges and splinted wood material are an open invitation to infection to enter the tree. Smooth surfaces have less surface area and will heal faster as well. 

If there is any loose or ripped bark around the wound area, trim it with a sharp knife to help the tree to create a cleaner and more complete seal. 

Benefits of Professional Tree Removal Services 

Sometimes the extent of damage done to a tree from broken branches is so severe that the remaining tree structure becomes a safety hazard. A tree professional may also determine that it is unlikely or impossible that a tree will be able to heal itself, even with an arborist's assistance. 

Will broken branches kill a tree? They certainly can, and if it is impossible to reasonably recover a tree's stability or health, you should consider the benefits of tree removal services. An arborist with access to experienced technicians and modern equipment has the expertise and material needed to safely remove even large trees or major branches efficiently while minimizing the risk to nearby people, property, or structures.

There are inherent safety risks involved in removing any size tree, and larger trees present increased dangers for untrained property owners. A professional tree company is not only the best choice for safe removal, but they also have the equipment and training needed to clean up and dispose of all debris as well as to remove trunks and root structures. 

In situations where professional tree removal is necessary, a property owner is presented with an opportunity to replant a new tree or trees that will enhance the enjoyment and value of their property. Given the chance to choose a tree planting strategy, an owner can take steps to minimize the risk of future loss from broken branches. 

Choose a replacement species that will reach a desired mature height and spread for your property that will best fit your landscaping. Crowded trees must fight for resources and generally grow weaker branches that are more prone to breaking under the stress of heavy weather. 

Trees with strong trunk structures and strong branch unions are less susceptible to breaking. Low, v-shaped trunk splits are more likely to weaken and break over time. 

Choose Top Tier Trees for All Arborist Services in Marietta

Now that you've read about the common question, "Will broken branches kill a tree?" consider whether you are in need of a tree professional. Discover more about signs a tree needs to be removed with help from the experts. Top Tier Trees is the leading tree service company serving Marrietta and northern Georgia. We base our work on modern arboriculture, unmatched integrity, and customer service. 

Contact Top Tier Trees today for routine tree maintenance or for 24/7 emergency response to your residential or commercial property.

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    • My favorite tree service crew! I rank Top Tier high for their safety and professionalism. Did removal & stump grinding last year, and called them again for tree service this year. David shared vital info about my trees. Chaz and Erin have been great to work with. The tree svc crews work very well together on site; a pleasure to watch. I'd call them again

      -Frank Maina, GA
    • Wow, great customer service, promptly returned my calls and had Erin, a sales and customer service representative out within 2 hours. I was very happy with the quote so we wanted to get started right away. Their was an opening in their schedule and had a crew at my house all before noon on Friday. Very fast and efficient, i could not be more pleased.

      - Robin Chitwood, GA
    • Outstanding & professional work! We had 7 trees removed & the crew did an excellent job from start to finish. They even trimmed a few branches that needed trimming. Clean-up was great. The crew introduced themselves & engaged with us throughout the job.

      -Jean B.Marietta, GA
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