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We've got a small maple tree in our yard that was broken in half by the wind. Someone told us to cut it down to a small stump and it would grow back in 5-6 years. However, I'm skeptical... I've heard of some trees growing back, but never heard of maples doing that.

If it helps, we're in Utah, USA.

  • Any chance of a photo of the tree? – Bamboo May 16 '19 at 16:39
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Many common maples do not produce a lot of shoots from the base when damaged but even if it does that not mean the tree will look nice or be structurally sound in the long run.
The sucker or water sprouts or basal shoots are not strongly attached and you will end up with shrub that is prone to being damaged in winds.

Best solution is dig out or chip out the stump and plant a new tree.

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Yes, it will. And not in 5-6 years, but in 5-6 or perhaps 8 months.

I know because I did it. I cut it down in February, and it started growing in July. I had already thought it won't grow again (in May-June timeframe), but it surprized me in July.

It will grow as a multistem tree once it starts growing again, which is super-exciting, at least for me.

I think stories about multistem trees being “structurally unstable” are rubbish, invented by jaleous people who don't have multistem trees. Check the prices of multistem trees in nurseries. They are multiple times higher than the prices for regular equivalent ones. Certainly people wouldn't be willing to pay 5 or 6 times more for “structurally weak” tree. ;)

I left 10 cm / 4 in of stump. Not sure if it was needed. Perhaps it would regrow from the ground, but I still recommend leaving a small stump.

I am talking about regular maples here, not about japanese ones.

Birches also do the same thing. A multistem birch is a very much appreciated and desirable garden specimen. And incredibly beautiful. Too bad it is “structurally unstable”. ;)

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