3 Reasons Why Tree Topping Is A Bad Idea

Tree topping is the all too common practice of severely lopping off a tree's main branches. Unfortunately, in almost every case, this practice ends up doing more harm than good. If you would like to get your facts straight about tree topping, read on. This article will outline three potent reasons why you should never have a tree topped.

Tree topping tends to cost more money in the long run.

A common misconception about tree topping--and one of the principal reasons people opt for this destructive practice--is that it's the least expensive method of maintaining a tree. This, however, is only true where the very immediate future is concerned. For instance, your pruning costs will be next to nothing for the following few years.

Yet further down the line a topped tree is almost certain to cost you more. That's because the irregular growth that ensues from a topped tree often requires an excessive amount of corrective pruning. Worse still, the tree's chances of dying go way up. That means you may be saddled with the additional expense of hiring an arborist to cut the entire thing down.

Topping kills trees by exposing them to massive levels of stress.

As you probably already know, leaves are a tree's way of generating the energy needed to continue living. Topping a tree involves cutting off a large proportion of leaf-bearing branches. This renders the tree incapable of feeding itself, thus kicking its survival instincts into a desperately high gear.

To try and generate the necessary foliage to feed itself, a topped tree will begin to produce new shoots as rapidly as it possibly can. This strategy only works if the tree has stored up a sufficient amount of energy to carry it through. If not, the tree will likely die from the stress of topping. Even if the tree manages to survive, it will stand a much greater chance of succumbing to decay and disease.

Topping increases a tree's vulnerability to damage.

Assuming that you are one of the lucky few whose tree escapes death after being topped, you can still expect to have a lot of potential problems on your hands. That's because the new branches that grow out around the stubs will be much weaker than the old branches. This has to do with the way that the root of the branch develops.

A normal branch is rooted in the socket created between overlapping layers of the trees wood. This greatly increases the stability of the full-grown branch, by anchoring it firmly in place. Post-topping branches, however, emerge from portions of wood located much closer to the bark of the tree. This puts them at an increased risk of cracking, breaking, or becoming otherwise damaged in the future. Contact a tree crane service if you need help with your trees.