So, I got to wondering, can one shape a tree by just cutting away a chunk of bark or does the entire limb have to be lobbed off to force a new bud?
Just curious. Thanks.
You need to cut off the limb. When a limb is cut off there are hormonal changes but also the tree now has excess "plumbing" to that area. So the tree tries to grow new branches to replace the old. Use up that capacity to move water and nutrients.
Some say you can force new growth by cutting above a bud. I doubt the response would be anything like removing current growth.