What to Do When a Branch Breaks Off a Tree

Storm damaged tree gets branch cut

It’s not uncommon for branches to break off a tree. Natural occurrences like roaring thunder, lightning, heavy winds, storms, or thick layers of ice may cause trees to lose their branches. 

Sometimes, major damage or a delay in providing first aid to the broken branches can completely damage your tree. Therefore, you should attend to a broken branch as soon as possible.

Below are some steps to take care for trees with broken branches:

Assess the Damages

The first step you should take is to assess the broken branches. Are major limbs broken? How big are the wounds where the branch fell off? Is the tree damaged? Do you need help to clear the branches and fix the damages? Would you need to write off the tree?

Clear the Branches

Start clearing and pruning broken branches carefully. The small broken branches should be given priority. Then clear off all the loose branches on the floor to avoid accidents.

If large branches are hanging over power lines, you should get help to avoid accidents.


  • If the branch broke off at the trunk, you don’t need to get rid of the whole branch. Just cut off the broken part and leave the remaining branch.
  • Broken branches should be removed immediately to prevent decay from entering the tree through the wound.
  • Don’t bother to reattach broken branches because it’s not worth the stress. The branch won’t grow back together again. 

Check for Wounds and Damage

Repair ripped bark by using a knife to smooth out the wound’s edges where the branch fell off. No need to treat these types of wounds because trees are capable of repairing themselves. 

Although the wound scars will remain on the tree, the wound will heal and stop decay from occurring.

Hold Off if the Damage is Major

In cases where several major limbs are damaged, or the tree looks like it won’t survive, be patient, resist the urge to write off the tree.

Instead, prune the branches carefully then give the tree some time to recover. You should also consider getting a specialist to assess the damage to figure out what to do next.

Say Goodbye

If it’s evident that the tree can’t be saved probably because the damage is too much or the tree is as good as dead, then it’s time to say goodbye to the tree. If this is the case, don’t try to cut the tree yourself. Get a professional for help.

Get a Professional

Instead of going through the stress of dealing with broken branches yourself, you can enlist the help of a professional. DIY tree care is not encouraged for several reasons. Sometimes, the tree may have hidden damage, which can only be noticed by a professional. Also, tree specialists have the best tips and solutions to care for your tree and deal with broken branches.

Do you need a tree specialist? Contact Nelson Tree Specialist for your tree maintenance services. Our professional arborists will carefully inspect the trees, provide first aid, and trimming services to ensure your tree is in good shape. Contact us at 301-854-2218 to schedule a consultation.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 2nd, 2020 at 12:36 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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