Emerald Ceder tree is 4 feet tall, trunk is 1 foot tall from ground level to first branches. Will this part of the trunk continue to extend as the tree grows. Will the space between the ground and the first branches increase as the tree gets taller?
Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.
There are two ways in which a tree grows.
- Primary growth is only from the tip of the branches (meristem). New cells are added on the end of the branch to make it longer, the branch does not stretch. This would be the new growth you see each year. The new growth on trees will turn woody with time.
- Once the branch/trunk has formed, secondary growth is in girth not length. Under the bark there is a layer all the way around the trunk (Cambium) which houses layers where nutrients and water travel up and down the plant. Each year a new layer is created increasing the radius of the trunk. You can see this when a tree is cut and see the annual rings.
The trunk of your cedar tree is woody and from previous years growth. At the top of the tree the branches will continue to add on to to their ends so the tree will grow taller but the previous growth from past years will increase in girth only and not change in length; the lower branches will not grow further from the ground.
I am including a link below if you are interested in reading more about how a tree grows.