Whether or not a broken tree can be saved depends on the type of tree and the extent of the damage. Many trees—especially young ones—can recover from storm damage, just as they can recover from severe pruning. Other types of trees (including many conifers) have a hard time regrowing their rounded tops once they’ve been broken.

Without knowing the type of tree, I’d suggest the following: if the main trunk is intact, and there are some strong branches growing in the direction of the tree’s natural shape, as well as some room for more branches to grow, I’d recommend leaving it to see if it will recover.

Prune the broken limbs back to a healthy branch, making your cut just outside the branch collar. The branch collar is the raised area where the branch meets the stem, and it should be left intact. It’s usually not necessary to apply any sealants to the wound as trees have their own healing system.

If the overall shape and beauty of the tree is destroyed with no sturdy trunk or branches left, it’s less likely to ever be the tree you hoped for, so be prepared to replace it in the next planting season. Before replacing it, however, you may want to have it evaluated by an arborist to make sure.

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Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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