Epicormic shoots in European beech, Fagus sylvatica, may be associated with decreased radial growth. Colin et al. study the number of axillary buds, shoot length, ring width profiles, epicormic shoots and other epicormics in dominant and dominated forks. Using a zero-inflated mixed model, they show that sprouting depends positively on epicormic frequency and negatively on radial growth. Their findings support a trade-off between cambial activity and sprouting activity in Fagus sylvatica.