Do Trees Stop Growing? What Phoenix Residents Should Know

Many people wonder, “Do trees stop growing?” In this article, Tree Workers of Phoenix, your go-to arborist in Phoenix, gives you the answer. 

The Short Answer

The backyard tree aging process is a little confusing. Trees never technically stop growing; it’s just the direction that changes. Woody plant development occurs both outward and upward. Your tree grows taller and also increases in girth. 

You’ll notice growth cessation in trees when they reach the maximum height for their species. However, they’ll continue to add rings to their trunk every year. Therefore, arboreal growth never really stops in trees; it just changes. 

These rings play an important role in dendrochronology. Every season the tree survives, it grows a new layer of bark on the outside. This is what forms the rings and is how we determine the botanical lifespan of the tree. 

Can Trees Live Forever? 

This is always the follow-up question to, “Do trees stop growing?” The answer is, “Not usually.” That said, there are trees that are thousands of years old. To be fair, though, this is unusual. 

For a tree to be undisturbed for millennia is strange, but you also have to consider the species. For example, olives will live for hundreds of years, while birches won’t make it past 150. 

Why Is There Such a Difference in Lifespans? 

Science doesn’t know exactly why a tree begins to decline. Some believe that it’s an in-built expiry date in the cells. Animal cells can only replicate a certain number of times before they die. Some scientists theorize that trees undergo a similar process.

Other researchers believe it’s a matter of logistics. They feel that as the tree ages and grows bigger, it becomes more difficult to draw water from the ground into the tree’s upper reaches. 

Both theories are interesting, but they don’t seem to fit with all the facts. After all, the tree capping its height may be nature’s way of handling the issue of transporting water and nutrients. If it continued to grow taller until it died, that might be the reason for its decline. It doesn’t, however. 

The cell dividing theory also seems plausible, but it doesn’t explain why some trees live so much longer than others. Even accounting for differences in the species, there should be more commonality here.

The Tree’s Life Cycle

Trees have a growth phase, but don’t seem to have a set point for slowing down. You’ll find that most trees die because of human intervention, disease, or pests. This may be due to the changing environment, harvesting, or other activities that harm trees. 

One thing we do know is that trees will continue to grow unless they’re sick. Maybe it’s old age that slows them down and makes them less able to cope with the demands of daily living. At some point, they’re likely to start ailing. This makes them more susceptible to pests and disease, which is what kills them. 

Can You Extend Your Tree’s Lifespan? 

Yes, you can slow the tree aging process if you provide the ideal conditions for growth. Make sure your tree’s in the ideal spot and that it gets enough sunlight every day. You should also ensure that it’s not in the path of heavy winds. 

When you properly situate your tree, you can provide it with the nutrients it needs. You should conduct regular soil testing to see if there are deficiencies in the earth. 

Contact Our Team for the Right Advice

Now that you can answer, “Do trees stop growing?” do you have other questions, like, “How do you stop tree roots from growing back?” We have the answers. Call Tree Workers of Phoenix at 602-320-2797 to schedule a consultation today!


Tree Workers of Phoenix has been in business since 1994 and is a member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and International Society of
Arboriculture (ISA).


18402 N. 19th Ave. #115

Phoenix, AZ 85023

Phone: 602-320-2797

Email :

Hours of Operation :

Monday - Sunday : 9:00am-5:00pm


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