A tree fell on my dawn redwood, taking many branches off one side. Will the branches regrow? The tree is about 40′ tall.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Jason in Pennsylvania: When trees are damaged in this manner it is difficult to say if they will recover or not. It really depends on the extent of the injuries. The broken branches should be pruned with a clean cut at the branch bark collar; leaving them as is will encourage insect and potential disease issues. Proper pruning is essential to the health of your tree, and in your case since the tree is so large you should have a certified arborist come out and prune the limbs for you. At the least, you should have them come out and take a look to give you an idea of how severe the damage is. If the majority of the limbs on one side of the tree are damaged, this could be an issue in terms of stability if storms come through. Dawn redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) are deciduous conifers that are considered regenerative. This means that they can put on new growth after they have been cut down or damaged like yours. They are fast growers and as long as it is growing in full sun, well-drained acidic soil the tree should be fine. At this point you should contact a certified arborist to come out and take a look. If you need recommendations for a certified arborist you can contact your County Cooperative Extension Office. The horticulture agent should be able to give you local suggestions.