Problems and Proper Care for Codominant Tree Leaders in Santa Rosa, CA

by | Sep 15, 2023 | Tree Removal

Codominant tree leaders involve two or more extensions of similar size growing vertically from the base. Trees normally only have one leader that functions as the trunk. Also known as codominant stems, multiple trunks can make the tree more likely to experience significant breakage. A service for tree care in Santa Rosa, CA should be contacted early in the tree’s life to evaluate the situation.

The appearance of the codominant leaders typically is a V shape growing upward from the lower trunk. The problem is relatively common in maples, oaks, and evergreens.

Bark Inclusion

The competition for dominance among these leaders can weaken the structure. If the trunks grow closely together, this creates a layer of bark trapped in between. Technically called bark inclusion or included bark, the material is prone to splitting during high winds. This can cause substantial damage. Those abnormally close leaders also compete for sunlight and ventilation, which can further weaken the tree.


Professional tree care in Santa Rosa, CA for codominant leaders will include pruning those stems while they are still small. This encourages a strong central leader to become dominant and prevents the formation of trapped bark.

If the tree has already grown to be relatively large before the problem is addressed, a professional technician may be able to do selective pruning. This would mean reducing the size of one of the leaders. A professional should handle this project because maintaining the overall balance is crucial.

Details about Sam’s Tree Service are provided at

Latest Articles