How To Stop a Tree From Growing Without Killing It

Want to know how to stop a tree from growing without killing it? In this post, Petrarca Landcare Inc, your go-to tree service company in Lakewood, Ohio, explains more about this topic based on how trees grow. 

how to stop a tree from growing without killing it

Strategic Pruning

If the tree’s canopy is too big, you can slow growth with judicious pruning. In terms of tree care, this means thinning the branches rather than performing tree topping. The latter practice damages the tree and might kill it. If the tree survives, it’s likely to send out new shoots, exacerbating the issue. 

What we’re talking about here is a haircut rather than decapitating your tree. After all, we want to find out how to stop a tree from growing without killing it. Look for branches that rub up against one another or areas that are too cluttered to let in enough light and air.

You can also use a technique called developmental pruning if you can start early enough. With this technique, you train your tree to grow in a particular shape when it’s young. It’ll then maintain that form with minimal interference as it ages. 

Either way, it’s important to use good pruning techniques, like: 

  • Never removing more than a third of all the branches
  • Avoiding cutting the leader shoot
  • Using sharp, clean tools to make straight cuts
  • Targeting dead or weak branches first 
  • Paying attention to the overall shape to avoid the canopy overbalancing

 If you’re unsure how to proceed, call our expert team. 

Plant Growth Regulators

Pruning physically reduces the tree’s size, but it tends to be a reactive measure. In other words, you deal with the issue after it becomes a problem. You can take a proactive stance by using plant growth regulators to slow the tree’s production of new shoots, effectively preventing tree root growth before it poses a challenge.

These hormonal treatments can be useful in keeping a tree to a manageable size, but they can also improve tree health. For example, where a tree’s growing too quickly, they can prevent it from outstripping all its resources. That said, this is a tricky thing to get right, so it’s best to call a certified arborist. Too much of the wrong hormone can have a disastrous effect. 

Consider Moving the Tree

Though not ideal, transplanting the plant may solve the issue by allowing it more room to spread out. If your only other option is to remove the tree, this could be the ideal way to save an old, favorite plant. 

Preventing the Issue Moving Forward

There’s no surefire way to make a tree shorter without risking damage, so we recommend that you carefully consider what you plant. Research the size and ideal conditions before planting, and you’ll have a healthy tree that fits neatly in its place without radical intervention. 

Contact Our Team for Professional Advice

Now that you know how to stop a tree from growing without killing it, do you have any other questions? Are you dealing with a hollow tree trunk or premature leaf drop, for example? For these and other tree-related issues, contact Petrarca Landcare Inc at (330) 933-0562

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