How to Safely Remove a Big Broken Branch from a Tree

Learn how to safely remove big broken branches from trees with help from professional arborists. Find out why artisanal tree care is not recommended and how pruning broken branches can help trees in the long term.

How to Safely Remove a Big Broken Branch from a Tree

When a tree or shrub has a broken branch, it's often best to contact a professional arborist. These experts have the knowledge and equipment to safely remove or repair branches if possible. It's important to tie a rope around the branch and wrap it around something sturdy, such as a tree trunk, so that your friend on the ground can hold the rope and prevent the branch from falling off once you've cut it. Pruning broken branches can help trees and shrubs in the long term.

Instead of going through the stress of dealing with broken branches, enlisting the help of a professional is recommended. Artisanal tree care is not advised for several reasons, such as hidden damage that only a professional can detect. Tree specialists also have the best tips and solutions for caring for your tree and treating broken branches. If there is still a lot of wood attached to the tree, then the chances of survival of that branch are high.

Natural phenomena, such as thunder, lightning, strong winds, storms, or thick ice sheets, can cause trees to lose their branches. Make a cut at the bottom of the branch, but not more than one-third of the way through. If a tree branch breaks after a storm due to falling power lines or any other physical cause, it will remain alive for a long time as it is still attached to the trunk or main branch. The collar is the raised ring of protective tissue that surrounds the branch and connects it to the rest of the tree.

It will never be possible to remove ties or cables that hold a broken branch in place, which could mean an ongoing nuisance in your landscape. After several months, you must remove any grafting materials to allow the crown of the tree to grow freely. In general, when a tree or shrub has a broken branch, it's usually easier to cut losses and remove it. When properly pruned, tree branches will not grow back because the cut area is not designed to regrow after cutting. Trees are particularly brittle in winter and with added stiffness from ice, you'll break more branches than you save.

If the upper part of the tree is damaged and needs to be removed, make repairs by cutting the branch at an angle of approximately 45 degrees in the main trunk. It's not uncommon for trees and shrubs to break their branches during storms, and home gardeners often wonder if there's any way to reposition them or remove cuttings from branches.

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