Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Bark and Trunk Concerns

Q: Will a pine tree's bare spot with no branches regrow branches?

Thursday, June 16, 2016  

Q: I live in Rochester, Minnesota.  I’m not sure if you can answer my question or not, but I'll ask! I planted a couple of pine trees a few years ago, and at some point something got wrapped around the stem. By the time I realized this and took it off, the tree had continued to grow above this spot.  Now there are no branches coming out of this part of the tree, so there's a big empty spot with no branches.  I’m wondering if there is any way possible to encourage the tree to grow branches out of that spot?  I know it sounds like a ridiculous question, but a couple people have made suggestions, so I just wanted to ask a professional before I go doing anything stupid!

A: There is no way to get limbs to grow from bare areas on trunk. Pine trees are designed to only grow from the tips of the limbs and the top of the tree. However, over time, the limbs above the bare area will get longer, put out lateral limbs, and start to sag some. This will cover these bare areas.

Responder: Matt Evans, RCA #522, Lenexa, KS