While trees won’t really ever stop growing until they die, there are some ways to limit their growth. Some reasons for doing so include:
- Letting more light into your yard;
- Stopping them from growing into roofs and widows;
- Stopping growth into power lines and other structures;
- Simply keeping them manageable when it comes time to prune or trim.
Steps to Follow and Preventative Measures:
First, thoroughly research your kind of tree. Different types of trees have unique pruning schedules, and may react adversely to pruning. The very best thing to do is to start off planting trees that are appropriately sized for your space.
Take into consideration where foundations, fences, and sidewalks are when planning. Remember a tree’s root system will spread far beyond the trunk.
There are miniature and dwarf varieties of some trees that might be a good option instead of trying to reign in a large tree. They grow to a fraction of the size of regular varieties without sacrificing the look of the tree.
A local nursery can help you find the right choice for your yard and climate.
If you are trying to keep an existing tree from expanding, prune it regularly. Pruning won’t actually stop the growth, but may help you keep it under control.
Pay attention to seasons when pruning. Late winter can be a good time to prune while the tree is dormant. Pruning during the summer growing season can also be effective because it stunts growth by reducing the food producing part of the tree.
A good rule of thumb for pruning is to not remove more than a fourth of the living canopy, or top part, of the tree. The tree may not have enough energy to recover from this.
Learn more about “What Time of Year Should You Trim Trees and Bushes?”
While topping a tree by removing new growth at a certain point is an option, it comes with some drawbacks. One is, it may make your tree unattractive. It can also lead to the tree forking or growing outward instead of upward.
Topping can also create uneven growth with weaker branches that are more prone to breaking. Again, research your type of tree to see how it may respond. Topping has become a controversial issue, so be sure and educate yourself about whether it’s the right decision for your landscape.
When in doubt, consult a tree specialist, AKA as an arborist. They can help you come up with a plan that works best for your yard and tree varieties.
Lastly, you can try planting other plants near the tree. They will then have to share nutrients with the tree.
By sharing these nutrients, the tree will have less to use for growth and it may help slow it down. Creating a bed around the tree can also make the space more attractive.
The main thing to remember is that every tree variety is different, and has different needs. Be sure to use this to your advantage and plan ahead to get the most out of your space.
Would you rather leave the hard work to us? Visit our Bush and Tree Trimming service page to learn how we can help.