Why does the tree trunk grow in diameter even though you cut the roots and tips of branches?

  • This is almost a question for biology.se
    – kevinskio
    Feb 29, 2016 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


Pruning does not kill the tree, at least if it's still pruning.

A living tree adds a layer of cells to its diameter each year. These growth rings are a defining characteristic of wood.

If you want the trunk not to get thicker, just kill the tree, that's the only way to stop the normal process of growth.

Root pruning is not a normal tree-care technique outside of perhaps bonsai.

  • So basically when you cut the roots of a tree the trunk will not grow in diameter?
    – Rain
    Feb 29, 2016 at 4:55
  • If you cut the roots so much that you kill the tree. Otherwise, no. And there are easier ways to kill trees.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 29, 2016 at 4:57
  • So when I cut the roots does the trunk still grow in diameter? If yes, Why?
    – Rain
    Feb 29, 2016 at 5:31
  • Read my answer; your comprehension seems to be lacking.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 29, 2016 at 5:35
  • 1
    Why do we humans grow in stature and girth over our lifetimes? umm we need to work and move towards reproduction, and withstand the storms life chucks at us. The same for most areas of nature.
    – user13638
    Feb 29, 2016 at 10:18

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