Although our hope is not to continue to see “topped” trees in an urban area, we unfortunately still see the desecration of the trees along with receiving calls requesting us to “top” trees. The good news is the practice of topping trees has been drastically reduced from 20 years ago.
It’s not that people who pay for or think they want their trees topped aren’t good people. They are just uniformed about the consequences of topping and the alternative pruning (trimming) practices that are available to them.
Nationally, neither individuals nor communities are spending enough money on tree care. It just makes no sense to use the money that is being spent on a practice as detrimental as topping.
Just a Few Reasons Why Not to “Top” a Tree:
Starvation: Good pruning (trimming) practices rarely remove more than 1/4 to 1/3 of the crown, which in turn does not seriously interfere with the ability of a tree’s leafy crown to manufacture food. Topping removes so much of the crown that it upsets an older tree’s well-developed crown-to-root ratio and temporarily cuts off its food-making ability.
Shock: A tree’s crown is like an umbrella that shields much of the tree from the direct rays of the sun. By suddenly removing this protection, the remaining bark tissue is so exposed that scalding may result.
Insects and Disease: The large stubs of a topped tree have a difficult time forming callus. The terminal location of these cuts, as well as their large diameter, prevent the tree’s chemically based natural defense system from doing its job.
Ugliness: A topped tree is a disfigured tree. Even with its re-growth it never regains the grace and character of its species. The landscape and the community are robbed of a valuable asset.
Once again, education plays the most important role in promoting good tree care practices.
If your concerns about a tree getting too big, interfering with a structure or for any other reason, please call a professional who will advise you of alternatives other than “TOPPING”. THERE IS NO VALID REASON TO TOP A TREE!
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