Co-dominant stems form when two or more branches emerge from the same junction. As the stems develop, they remain similar in size creating co-dominant stems. Many co-dominant stems feature included bark; bark that grows into the union between the stems, causing a weak v-shaped branch union. Trees with co-dominant stems and included bark have an increased risk of failure. Maples, oaks, and conifers are examples of trees that commonly form co-dominant stems.


Trunks need enough wood tissue arranged appropriately to hold the tree up in stormy weather. Branches well attached to the trunk can remain secured for a long time. Weakly attached branches, however, can split from the tree. Trees with weakly attached branches fail more often than trees without these defects. Cabling and bracing can be used to help hold certain trees together. Trees can also be structutally pruned to either prevent or modify the impact of this defect.

Contact Tamke Tree Experts today for advice on how to maintain your trees with a co-dominant stem, trunk or branch structure.