What Is Tree Topping, and Why Is It Harmful? - All The Above Tree Services

What Is Tree Topping, and Why Is It Harmful?

Scheduling pruning services are essential for proper tree care. It keeps your trees healthy and eliminates many safety risks, and it also controls the height of your trees. When your tree is getting out of hand, you may consider giving it a good chop, but this may end up harming the tree, especially if you choose the wrong technique.

There are two techniques for managing the height of a tree. Both tree trimming and topping reduce the size of a tree’s crown, but they are two completely different methods, so you cannot simply pick one and hope for the best. In fact, tree topping is highly frowned upon by professionals and illegal for some city-owned trees. Tree trimming is used by skilled arborists and is the best method for reducing the height of trees.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at why tree topping is not a good option for managing the size of trees.

Say No to Tree Topping: Why It’s Harmful

With tree topping, the tree branches are cut from the tree’s crown without thought for lateral tree stems. Stubs are left behind, and these stubs begin to decay. The tree will struggle to heal these wounds, and pests such as borers will be attracted to the unhealthy tree. Eventually, the tree will weaken and die. Even if it wasn’t your intention, tree topping could permanently damage the tree.

Here are four reasons you should stay away from tree topping practices:

  1. The process removes leaves, stripping away the tree’s ability to make food.
  2. The limbs that remain are weakened and vulnerable to decay fungi, disease, and insect infestations. They will not be able to withstand severe storms, which is a potential hazard.
  3. The loss of the tree’s canopy of leaves exposes the bark to direct sunlight, which can cause sunburn. Sunburn of the bark leads to bark splitting, cankers, and dead branches.
  4. A topped tree has ugly stubs and will never be able to restore its natural form, leaving a massive eyesore on your property.

What does this mean for tree topping as a pruning method? If you’re pruning a silver maple tree to control its height, for example, you do not want to choose a tree company that wants to use the tree topping method. Arborists do not advise this pruning option unless you are getting ready to remove the tree. 

Tree Trimming: The Smart Alternative to Tree Topping

Unlike tree topping, tree trimming is a method for controlling the size and shape of large trees without harming them. With this technique, the tree expert will cut branches next to the lateral growth so the tree will heal faster and grow properly.

In addition to controlling the height of trees, tree trimming can also relieve some of the weight from large branches and heavy foliage. This prevents branches from breaking off during storms and increases sun exposure and air circulation throughout the tree.

Choose Tree Trimming for Safe, Healthy Trees

When it comes down to choosing between tree trimming or tree topping, trimming should be the chosen technique every time. Tree topping may produce fast results, but over time, you’ll have an ugly, dying tree on your property that requires more attention. Tree trimming will preserve the health of your tree and give it a lovely shape.

At All The Above Tree Service, we keep trees properly trimmed, and we will never use tree topping on your trees. For more information about our services, get in touch with our tree trimming and stump grinding contractors today!