My elm tree was butchered and cut back to the main trunk with a few side branches. I am beyond devastated. Will the branches grow back? I live in Sydney Australia and it’s our winter
2Pictures, please? It’s hard to judge based on a verbal description alone. Just choose edit, then the photo icon and follow the instructions in the pop-up window. Welcome to Gardening SE!– Stephie ♦Jun 23, 2019 at 13:52
Was it butchered, or trimmed to become a decent looking tree 30 years from now when it nears full size? It's not as if the lower branches ride up the trunk as the tree gets taller. You have to trim to get a properly shaped mature tree.– Wayfaring StrangerJul 24, 2019 at 21:46
What kind of elm is it? We had a Siberian elm tree (with the slime flux disease) cut down, and even had the stump ground, and it's been trying to grow back for a couple years now. (I say trying, because I dig up the new growth periodically.)– BrōtsyorfuzthrāxJul 19, 2020 at 4:28
It will. Unless it was some really old or very sick elm, it will regrow with vengeance. Plus it is winter over there, so at least it was a good time for butchering, this increase chances of a powerful return of your elm.
Probably end up looking pollarded: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollarding Nov 22, 2019 at 15:45
The term of practice to which you responded with great sorrow is often one that does seem barbaric but is often carried out by tree surgeons to prevent long term costs to the tree owner or indeed to eradicate issues with tree health or storm damage. It sounds to me this is very much the case here. It will gradually pick up and will take on new vigor. If its a golden elm then it will take some time as there is less chlorophyll in the foliage of colored leaf specimen elms. Luckily your in Australia where there is no Dutch elm disease otherwise you may have other things to consider. So no worries. Regards Peter Bourne (UK Elm Expert and Volunteer Curator for the National Elm Collection, UK)