Can I Stop My Tree From Growing Taller?

Sometimes keeping a tree at its current height is a must. For instance, a power line could be above, a garden might need more sun than a bigger tree would allow, or limbs from a tall tree might restrict another tree’s growth.

Pruning the limbs in the dormant time keeps a tree smaller. Though trimming in the middle of summer takes away the branches’ food-making part, stunting their growth.

​There are ways to stop a tree from growing taller, and the steps below will help you. If you don’t feel comfortable performing these steps, contact a Harrisburg arborist for assistance.


Trim the top of the tree back to within 2 inches, where many other limbs are growing from the trunk. If the leader is little in diameter, cut it off with pruning shears. For bigger diameters, a handsaw works best.

Prune back all the other branches in the same section so that the top stays like the rest of the tree. While trimming off the top keeps the tree from growing taller, topping is usually frowned upon for many reasons, like it creates unequal growth and an unattractive tree. It also may result in new limbs that are weak, break off and fall.

Though, if you want to turn your tree into a shrub, tree topping while it’s small, trimming other limbs back, and letting multiple branches grow from the cut ends gives it a shrub-like look.

Trim side limbs back only a third of their length. Prune just in front of a side shoot at an angle of 45-degrees. This inspires growth along with the side shoot in the normal path and deters water sprouts. Repeat trimming every year. The time for pruning depends on the sort of tree.


If you haven’t done so after the last trimming job, disinfect your pruning tools before using them on the tree. The last thing you want to do is spread any illnesses or insects attached to your equipment. Typical tool disinfectants are disinfectants, rubbing alcohol, and a mixture of one part water to nine parts bleach.


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